NV Energy Clients Receive Fake Phone Calls Requesting Bitcoin Payments
The recent NV Energy rip-off came with a new angle, which is the fact that the calls and information provided sounded 100% legit. According to Jose Ontiveros, whose father received an upsetting call, they were contacted by a person called James from NV Energy who informed them that the power was going to be shut off. James was saying that their account had not made any payments for the past three months.
Jose decided to handle the phone call since his dad was not very fluent in English. Jose believes that their account was up to date with payments, but according to James, they had less than half an hour before the technicians shut the power. Fortunately, they were told that they could avoid that shut off if they made a payment.
James, the conman, wanted Jose to withdraw some cash, $856, and send it through a payment system that also accepts Bitcoin. Jose got the directions to the local Bitcoin ATM at a nearby gas station. James also sent the detailed instructions on the procedure of processing the payment. However, Jose had first to go to the bank to get the funds.
As he was preparing to go out, Jose reports that James kept calling after every two or three minutes. He wanted to know whether the funds were ready for collection. At this point, Jose says that he started to become suspicious.
As a bitcoin enthusiast, Jose understood the implications of depositing funds with Bitcoin. He realized that once he sent the money, it would likely be untraceable. Hence, Jose decided to ask James whether it was a scam, which led to an argument. Once they started to argue, Jose figured out that he was not dealing with a genuine representative of NV Energy.
Word of Caution
According to Michelle Follatte from NV Energy, the company does not call and organize to collect funds through the phone. Most importantly, she added that they would never call their clients and ask them to go somewhere to deposit funds. NV Energy wants the public to understand that when you are facing a possible disconnection, you will always get a ten-day notice along with a 48-hour reminder via U.S. Mail.
The most notable thing that these scammers do is creating a need for urgency. Their tactic is to scare you into rushing you to get to a specific place and to pay up to avoid disconnection. Jose wants people to know that it was this fear and being rushed that had initially blinded them to the scam.
If you happen to receive similar phone calls and are not sure of its authenticity, NV Energy advises that you hang up immediately. Next, call the official support line, 702) 402-5555, to verify the status of your account.