Dubuque business speaks out after being target of recent scam - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque business speaks out after being target of recent scam

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A Dubuque business is speaking out after being targets of a recent scam.

Owners of Lot One Sports Bar in Dubuque said the bar received a call two weeks ago from someone claiming to work for Alliant Energy.

"The folks were portraying themselves to be from Alliant Energy," said Lot One bartender Kelly Williams. "They stated that we were behind on payments and we were in risk of being shut down."

The bartender who took the call immediately called the bar's owner, fearing the company would lose power.

"The owner called us back and said, 'That's ridiculous, I sent in the bill the day before,'" said Lot One bartender Corey Hillard.

After contacting Alliant Energy, the owner said he learned it was a scam. The owner then alerted Dubuque Police.

Another Dubuque business was not so lucky. Copper Kettle in Dubuque fell victim to the scam.

The scam has left workers at Lot One speaking out to other area businesses and residents so that they do not fall prey to the scam.

"Always be cautious," Williams said. "Anytime somebody asks you for money over the phone, you think twice and make sure it's a legitimate source that you're going to give your money to."

Alliant Energy said the scam has also been reported in other parts of Iowa, including Burlington and Keokuk.

In an e-mail to KWWL-TV, Alliant Energy offered these tips to customers who believe they have been contacted by a scammer.

-- Beware that scammers can spoof caller-ID displays. That means they can mask the true origin of the call and make it appear as if it is coming from a utility company.

-- If someone calls claiming they represent Alliant Energy and demand immediate payment or personal information, hang up and call 1-800-255-4268. Do not provide personal information like a Social Security number, credit card numbers or bank account information.

-- Scammers are counting on people being too alarmed to verify their account status. Do not give in to high-pressure call tactics.

-- After customers have notified Alliant Energy, they should report the attempted scam to local law enforcement.

-- Disconnection is a last resort, and Alliant Energy will work with customers to set up a payment plan if they are behind. The company said they do not shut off service within an hour of the first communication. They also use secure payment processes and never ask customers to purchase prepaid credit cards and or make immediate payments with cash.

Payment options are listed at alliantenergy.com/paymentoptions.

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