Two Great Bend businesses last week reported receiving calls from scammers pretending to be representatives of Wheatland Electric Cooperative who were demanding money. No money was lost.
Wheatland issued a news release last November warning its members of similar attempts.
Scammers call or email Wheatland’s members, telling them that their electric bill is past due and unless they pay right away, their electricity will be disconnected. They often ask the member for a credit card number or instruct the member to immediately purchase a prepaid card, such as MoneyPak, and send the number to the caller.
These types of calls or emails are often difficult to detect prior to answering the call or opening the email because the scammers can make Wheatland’s name appear in the caller ID or in the email address.
The Barton County Sheriff’s Office received a report Friday that someone called advising he or she had won $300,000 and a new Mercedes. Because no money was lost, no case was taken.
Last Thursday, the Great Bend Fire Department also posted a warning of bogus phone calls seeking money. People have received phone calls from someone claiming to be a GBFD firefighter and asking for a donation.
Wheatland and the GBFD both issued statements that these calls are scams.
Firefighters do not contact anyone by phone for any fundraising of any kind.
Wheatland never contacts a member by phone to demand immediate payment or threaten disconnection of service. In addition, Wheatland never dictates how a member’s bill is paid. Method of payment is up to the customer.