OTEC Warns of Uptick in Scam Calls to Member-Owners

BAKER CITY – (Release from OTEC) Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative wants to warn all its member-owners of an uptick in potential scam calls. OTEC has received numerous reports from members in its four-county service territory stating they have received calls from someone pretending to be from OTEC and demanding immediate payment or their service will be cut off. This is a scam. 

OTEC does not demand immediate payments for past-due accounts, nor does it regularly disconnect power outside of normal business hours or on weekends. OTEC Member Service Representatives’ will call members with past-due accounts to give a final due date, schedule payment arrangements or to advise about payment issues.

OTEC wants to let its members know that if they receive a suspicious phone call from someone claiming to be from OTEC, play it safe and contact OTEC directly at 541-523-3616 if they’re not sure.

Don’t give out credit card numbers and personal information on the phone, through the mail or over the Internet unless you’ve initiated the contact or are sure you know who you’re dealing with.

Tips for Spotting a Scam:

Because OTEC does sometimes contact members by phone, it can be difficult to tell a scammer from a member representative. Here are some tips:

• If a caller specifically asks you to pay by prepaid debit card, this is a red flag.

• If you feel pressured for immediate payment or personal information, hang up the phone and call OTEC at 541-523-3616. This will ensure you are speaking to a real representative.

• Never allow anyone into your home to check electrical wiring, natural gas pipes or appliances unless you have scheduled an appointment or reported a problem. Also, always ask employees for proper identification.

About the cooperative

Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative (OTEC) is a not-for-profit, member-owned electric cooperative that serves nearly 60,000 residents in four counties in Eastern Oregon. Headquartered in Baker City, OTEC has district offices in Burns, John Day, and La Grande.