Rochester Public Utilities | Blog

RPU warns of utility scams

Rochester Public Utilities (RPU) has heard from customers that scam calls are being made to some RPU customers. RPU staff has collected information regarding the scam from customers to share with all RPU customers and the Rochester community.

The Scam –The callers are targeting commercial customers, but residential customers need to be vigilant as well. A caller states that they are from RPU’s disconnect department and that you are past due. They say that if payment isn’t paid over the phone, then you will be disconnected. Be aware though, that sophisticated technology and newer phone systems can mimic the look of an RPU phone number.

Payment Method Requested – The caller usually will require you to purchase a pre-paid debit card and to provide the number of the card over the phone. Sometimes a credit card over the phone will be requested. Payments from a pre-paid debit card cannot be reversed. In one instance, a person showed up at a business to try to collect.

Identifying a Scam – RPU will never request bank or secure personal information from you over the phone unless you ask to discuss your account. The RPU representative will then ask for information to identify who you are.

What to do if you receive a scam call:

  • If someone calls threatening to cut off your power if you don’t pay, hang up.
  • Call RPU at 507.280.1500 to report the scam.
  • Never give personal or financial information to an unknown caller.
  • Remember that RPU will never use threatening language or make forceful demands for payment.

If you ever feel pressured or feel that something is not right, hang up and call RPU directly at 507.280.1500.

About Rochester Public Utilities

As the municipal utility of Rochester, Minn., for more than 110 years, RPU provides high-quality and reliable electricity to over 50,000 customers.  Water customers number more than 37,000.  RPU continually investigates innovative technologies to help customers realize the best value from the services they receive.  Current initiatives include fuel cell research, wind power, and photovoltaic offerings.