LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- The intense summer heat has settled in. That has people reaching for the air conditioning, and con artists reaching for the phone with a new NV Energy scam.
One couple contacted News 3 in hopes of sharing a lesson. Joan Palethorte and Steve Becker's Dance Skills and Place in History are placed prominently on the walls of the backstage dance studio.
Though studio owners now, they know well the needs of dancers who practice in this space, and one thing they cannot do without is the air conditioning.
A few weeks ago, they believed this cool comfort would be taken abruptly.
“We received an urgent phone call from someone claiming to be with Nevada Energy and said we had not paid our deposit on the smart meter and someone was going to come en route and pull my meter in the next hour and a half if I didn’t go somewhere and make a payment,” Becker said.
“There was a rental coming in an hour, a big rental, with a lot of dancers and the children were coming at 4 p.m. so we're like, in a panic,” Palethorte said. “So what are we supposed to do?”
They were told to go to Walgreens or CVS pharmacy, and get a green spot (prepaid debit) card with the money placed on the card.
They dashed to the nearest store to make the payment of nearly $400.
“We drive to Walgreens, and they say we don't carry those anymore,” Palethorte said. “And he says, ‘There's something strange. Let's go home and call NV Energy and double check.’ ”
An NV Energy employee said that it does not call customers and solicit payments for any reason. Those who may be getting their power disconnected will be told in advance via mail.
Any customer who receives a call for payment should refuse and call police or NV Energy security.
If you meet someone who says he or she is with NV Energy, that person can present a badge and employee number. Those employees never receive payments in the field.
The NV Energy representative told Palethorte and Becker that the payment demand was a scam.
The air conditioner was never shut off, dancers continued to practice, and these business owners shared their story in hopes of warning others.