TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX) – Idaho Power Co. and local law enforcement want you to be aware of scammers who are posing as IPC representatives, telling residents they have defective meters and need to a pay for a new one.

“From time to time we do get scammers that call our customers,” Dan Olmstead, Magic Valley community representative for the power company, told NewsRadio1310. “The latest scammers are calling and telling our customers they have a broken or defective meter and need to spend money to get it fixed. But that’s not something we would have any of our customers do. If there is a defective meter we would pay for it, not the customer.”

Olmstead said customers should never tend money, but instead call the company’s 800 number to have Idaho Power verify legitimate claims or to report suspicious requests. The number to call is 800-488-6151.

The company did not know how many people have received illegitimate calls, said spokeswoman Anne Alenskis, but Idaho Power is not new to confronting scammers.

“Scammers usually make the rounds,” she said. “They go from town to town, region to region, and this is just the latest that we're seeing.”

The company’s website lists recent scams and informs customers what the company does and does not do. It does not, for instance, demand immediate payment or require payment for a defective meter. Nor does it ask potential job seekers for personal information over the phone.

Beside reporting scams or suspicious requests to Idaho Power, customers should inform police and contact the Attorney General’s Office, Alenskis said.

Another scam going around in southern Idaho is targeting restaurants. Callers are identifying themselves as local fire fighters and instructing restaurants to activate their fire suppression systems, according to the Idaho State Fire Marshal’s Office.

Activating a fire suppression system costs restaurant owners thousands of dollars and hours of lost time. The systems should be tested only by professionals and in a controlled setting.

“Firefighters will never contact restaurants by telephone to request activation of fire suppression systems or fire alarms,” State Fire Marshal Knute Sandahl said in a statement.“If restaurant employees receive such a phone call, they should just hang up.”

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