Utility Scammers May Be Targeting Pierre/Fort Pierre

A utility scam may be targeting Fort Pierre.  Fort Pierre Mayor Gloria Hanson says management at the AmericInn Lodge and Suites in Fort Pierre received a phone call from someone with an East Indian accent.  The individual claimed to be from the Fort Pierre Utilities Department and threatened to cut off power to the hotel, if full payment was not made.  Hanson says the call received by the AmericInn in Fort Pierre is the only such call that she has been made aware of.  She added that she has also contacted area law enforcement about the phone call.  The Pierre Police Department, on their Facebook page, posted a link to the South Dakota Attorneys General’s Office of Consumer Protection.  Captain Jason Jones with the Pierre Police Department says the scamming activity has picked up as the colder weather has moved into the central Missouri River valley and across South Dakota.  The post also indicated that similar alls were being received by citizens and businesses in Pierre Tuesday.  Pierre Municipal Utilities are also being targeted.   Fort Pierre’s utilities are administered by the city.  Most independent utilities will not use a phone call to initiate communication regarding billing issues.  Most will send a letter in the mail to begin the procedure to getting a billing issue cleared up.