Lincoln County Sheriff Jeff Jaeger is warning residents of yet another scam, this one aimed at customers of Wisconsin Public Service. WPS has put out a warning that over the past week at least 20 customers had contacted them after they received calls threatening to cut off their utilities unless they paid $500 by a timed deadline.
The scammers instruct the victims to purchase green dot cards at places such as Walgreens or Walmart and use that card to pay the past due amount. Some potential victims were told to meet someone in person in order to turn over the card and make the payment.
WPS would never ask a customer to make a payment using a pre-paid card, nor would they ever ask to meet you in person to receive the payment. If you receive such a call, hang up and notify WPS and your local law enforcement agency. Also remember anytime anyone asks for direct payment with a pre-paid card such as a green dot card that should be an immediate red flag that it is most likely a scam. Once those cards are liquidated, the money is gone and cannot be recovered or traced.
The deadline for paying up or making financial arrangements with WPS is this Friday; the Lincoln County Department of Social Services does still have funds available through the Wisconsin Home and Energy Assistance Program. You can contact them at 715-539-1344 to speak to a program specialist.