Latest Metro Phone Scammers Pose as Utility Company

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DES MOINES, Iowa  --  Phone scammers have been posing as MidAmerican Energy employees and demanding money, and Iowans have been the targets.

It’s the latest in a string of metro phone scams, where those responsible are threatening to cut power from customers if they don’t pay a large sum of money. George Davis is one of several people who received one of these calls.

“They asked me if I was going to be home because they were going to unhook my MidAmerican utilities in a couple hours because of a neglected bill that was due," Davis said.

To settle that delinquent bill, the scammer asked Davis to pay $400.

“And it couldn't be a personal check, it could be a debit card or it could be cash because they didn't have time to process it this late into the holiday weekend,” Davis said.

Channel 13 called the same number that contacted Davis. The fake number is similar to MidAmerican’s customer service number, and even sounds the same. MidAmerican says scammers are preying on people during a vulnerable time of year.

“MidAmerican is never going to call and demand a certain kind of payment within an hour. Disconnection is really a last resort, it's not the first step in the process," said Tina Hoffman with MidAmerican.

Davis and MidAmerican urge people to be vigilant, issuing a reminder that it's important to ask for proper identification from anyone claiming to be a service provider.