Owatonna Public Utilities contacted KRFO radio to report that a recent string of phone scams targeting local businesses has come to their attention.

OPU Marketing / Energy Conservation Officer Jared Hendricks indicates that a number of businesses have contacted OPU regarding the scam. Businesses have been threatened with immediate disconnection of utilities unless they make payments over the phone.

Hendricks says scammers may become very pushy or agitated if a business inquires about paying in the office or online. Be aware that Owatonna Public Utilities DOES allow all customers to make a payment at their business office. Over-the-phone payments are an option, but just one of several choices.

Scammers will sometimes use the name of another utility that operates in the area. Owatonna residents and businesses are served by Owatonna Public Utilities. If a caller claims to be from a different utility that could be an indication that the call is a scam.

Hendricks says, "If you feel you are speaking to a scammer but want to be sure it's not OPU, please hang up the phone and call us back on our direct number at (507) 451-2480. Do not use your call history to call back to ensure you reach the OPU office."

Victims of such a scam are also advised to contact authorities.

Roy Koenig, Townsquare Media