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NorthWestern Energy warns Montana customers of scam

Feb 27, 2020

Butte, Mont. – Feb. 26, 2020 – NorthWestern Energy’s Montana customers are reporting a scam demanding money for a meter change.

The criminals leave a phone message saying the customers' meter will be changed shortly with instructions to call a phone number. When the customer calls the number, they are told there is a fee and service will be disconnected if the “fee” isn't paid immediately. This is a scam.

The scam and the phone number have been reported to law enforcement authorities.

NorthWestern does not call customers and demand immediate payment. Don’t supply any personal information unless you are sure you are indeed working with the utility.

NorthWestern never asks customers to use a prepaid debit card for payment.

Signs of Potential Scam Activity:

• Threat to disconnect: Scammers may aggressively tell a customer his or her utility bill is past due and service will be disconnected if a payment is not made – usually within less than an hour.

• Request for immediate payment: Scammers may demand that customers pay their bill immediately or risk having their service disconnected.

• Request for prepaid card: Scammers may ask customers to purchase a pre-paid card and call back with the card’s information. When the customer calls back, the caller asks the customer for the prepaid card’s number, which grants the scammer instant access to the card’s funds, and the victim’s money is gone.

How Customers Can Protect Themselves:

• Customers should never purchase a prepaid card to avoid service disconnection or shutoff. NorthWestern Energy and other utility companies do not specify how customers should make a bill payment and always offer a variety of ways to pay a bill, including accepting payments online, by phone, automatic bank draft, mail or in person.

• If someone threatens immediate disconnection or shutoff of service, customers should hang up the phone, delete the email or shut the door. Customers with delinquent accounts receive advance disconnection notification. NorthWestern Energy and other utility companies never send a single notification one hour or less before disconnection.

• If customers suspect someone is trying to scam them, they should hang up, delete the email or shut the door.

You can reach the NorthWestern Energy call center at 888-467-2669. If you are threatened by a scammer, report that threat to local law enforcement.

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About NorthWestern Energy (NYSE: NWE)
NorthWestern provides electricity and / or natural gas to approximately 734,800 customers in Montana, South Dakota, and Nebraska. We have generated and distributed electricity in South Dakota and distributed natural gas in South Dakota and Nebraska since 1923 and have generated and distributed electricity and distributed natural gas in Montana since 2002. More information on NorthWestern is available on the company’s website at www.northwesternenergy.com


Media Contact:
Jo Dee Black
(866) 622-8081
Jodee.Black@northwestern.com


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