Beltrami Electric Cooperative customers may be the target of telephone scams with the caller asking for sensitive personal and financial information. These out-of-state fraudsters are posing as BEC representatives and asking the consumer to provide credit card or other account information and personally identifiable information over the phone.
Methods include saying the consumer owes on his/her account and will have service shut-off unless payment information is provided immediately. Another appears aimed more specifically at seniors. The caller claims the consumers can receive federal stimulus dollars to pay their utility bills or some sort of a bill credit, but the consumers must first provide personal information (e.g. Social Security Number and utility account number).
These callers are not associated with Beltrami Electric Cooperative, Inc. and should be reported to law enforcement. It is important for people to never give out personal information over the phone unless the caller has performed certain security checks, which requires numerous steps for verification.
For more information about identity theft, contact the Minnesota Attorney General's office or visit the Web site ftc.gov/idtheft. Consumers can find numerous resources to protect themselves.
For questions or concerns regarding a caller's validity, call Beltrami Electric at 444-2540.