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Outsmarting Scammers

It seems that with every email, text or voicemail we check that does not look familiar, we pause and think – I wonder if it’s a scam?

Scammers are evolving daily and coming up with new tricks to con the public. Nodak Electric warns members to take caution and be vigilant about scams. Recently, scammers have been contacting our members through phone calls – or also via text message, email or even in person – claiming to be a representative from Nodak Electric.

These scams tend to use aggressive and intimidating tactics. Knowing that electricity is a necessity, scammers will threaten to shut off members’ power, usually within the hour or that same day, unless they pay immediately in an untraceable form of payment such as a wire transfer or prepaid card. Well-organized scammers can even spoof or replicate the phone number that appears on your phone to make it look like it’s coming from Nodak Electric.

If you receive a phone call, email, text or visit from someone who threatens to shut off your power unless you provide immediate payment:

  • Hang up the phone.
  • If an email looks strange, don’t click on any links; delete it immediately.
  • If a text looks suspicious, don’t open it.
  • Never pay with prepaid debit or credit cards, gift cards, wire transfer or cash, as these are giveaways the person you’re speaking to is trying to scam you.
  • If someone is at the door requesting payment, members should ask for a photo ID and look for the Nodak Electric logo on clothing and on the vehicle. If something doesn’t seem right, call Nodak Electric and notify local authorities.
  • Contact Nodak to report the scam, and to verify you are current with your account. Use our SmartHub app or contact us at 800-732-4373. Do not use any contact information you received through a potentially fraudulent message.
  • Remember: Nodak Electric will not demand immediate payment in nontraditional payment methods.
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Capital Credits

Nodak Electric Cooperative’s Board of Directors approved the retirement of $2 million in capital credits at its March 2020 meeting. Members who paid for electricity for the years of 2001-2002 were given a bill credit on their April statements.

How does the capital credit process work?

  1. Nodak Electric Cooperative keeps track of how much electricity you buy and how much money you pay for it throughout the year – this is your patronage.
  2. At the end of the year, the cooperative completes financial matters and determines the amount of margins to allocate.
  3. Members receive a portion of the margins as capital credits based upon the amount of revenue each member contributed to total margins throughout the year. This is your allocation.
  4. The cooperative notifies you of your annual allocation of margins through the use of an allocation statement. That statement was included with your May billing.
  5. When Nodak Electric Cooperative’s financial condition permits, your board of directors decides to retire, or pay, the capital credits for previous years.
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Outage Response Process

Nodak Electric Cooperative strives to limit power outages. But when Mother Nature has different ideas and an outage does occur, it is helpful to report it as soon as possible.

In the case of any life-threatening emergency (fire, downed “live” power line, etc.), call 911 before calling Nodak at (800) 732-4373. Please do not report outages  through email or Facebook, as they are not monitored 24/7 and it may delay response time.

Power outages happen for a variety of reasons. Storms are often the cause of large outages because of high winds, lightning, rain or ice. Other outages can be caused by equipment problems and wildlife.

Whatever the cause, Nodak asks members to call in to report the outage and to refer to our online outage map (found on our homepage, in the top right corner under Outages). The outage map updates automatically and allows you to keep track of the status and location of outages. Nodak’s Facebook page also offers timely notices and frequent updates on larger outages and restoration status.

Our operations center monitors outages 24/7 and crews are always on call to help restore power.

Please make sure we have your current phone number on file and that your account information is updated. With a current phone number tied to your account, we can more quickly locate the area where power is out and restore your electricity. To update your account information, log in to your online account, or email or call us.

We try to offer estimated restoration times when possible, but there are many factors that can complicate power restoration. When lines are down or equipment is damaged, it can take longer to get the lights back on.

Downed power lines are dangerous! Assume any power line that is down is energized and stay away. Remember – if the situation is an emergency, call 911. Report the downed line to Nodak at (800) 732-4373.

Outage Response Process

Helping us helps you. Here are the steps Nodak takes to restore your power:

  1. Report a power outage as soon as possible. Having your meter number or account number handy is a time saver for the dispatcher. These numbers can be found on your most recent electric bill.
  2. To the best of your ability, notify the dispatcher if you heard or saw anything that could identify a probable cause of the outage, such as a loud bang, flash of light or tree on the line. This information could reduce restoration time.
  3. Outages are entered in the Outage Management System (OMS) to help pinpoint the location of the problem. The Outage Viewer map on the Nodak Electric website displays the current status and continuously updates outage restoration. We want our members to know what areas are being affected.
  4. Nodak’s line crews are called out to investigate the outage cause and safely make the repairs to restore power.
  5. The line crews verify the restoration and report back to the dispatcher with data to clear the outage.

The online outage map updates automatically and allows you to keep track of the status and location of outages. View the Nodak outage map at www.nodakelectric.com/outages/.

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Nodak Electric Cooperative

Nodak Electric Cooperative is dedicated to being an efficient provider of quality electric service with leadership that demonstrates the highest regard for its members/owners.

To report an outage call
800-732-4373 or 701-746-4461

May/Jun 2020

The Official Publication of Nodak Electric Cooperative

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