It's embarrassing when you're behind on paying a bill. It's stressful, nerve-wracking, and bill collectors calling at all hours of the day doesn't make it any better.

But what if the people calling weren't who they say they are? That's what's happening to folks in the City of Trees as of late.

Scammers in Boise are calling residents, claiming to be from Idaho Power, offering to get your late bill paid over the phone by providing your credit card info. These thieves are so sneaky that they can even make their number appear as if they really are calling from Idaho Power. It's a dastardly trick.

What can you do? Meridian Police Lt. Mark Ford has some ideas:

The best thing to do is when they call and tell you who they are, don't fall for it. If you're in question or think you're delinquent, or something's wrong, hang up and call your Idaho Power representative and speak to them personally about it. We're a very trusting community and so when people call here we tend to believe them. And scams are on the uprise and people are just vulnerable to them.

One tip Ford provided is never pay your bills over the phone with a gift card or any kind of money/wire transfer. That's a dead giveaway of a con-artist trying to separate you from your hard-earned cash.

Now, if you actually are behind on your power bill, you're probably going to want to call Idaho Power and get that sorted out.

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