PRECorp hit by phone scam

Powder River Energy was hit by a phone scam in November that redirected incoming phone calls to an external number, resulting in $1 million of unauthorized charges. The toll fraud, which involves a third party illegally accessing a phone system to make long-distance calls from the account, is not believed to have affected any customers making calls to the cooperative during that time.

“The phone system is not integrated with the systems that contain employee or member information, and we have no indication that this incident affected anything other than the phone system,” assures Tim Velder, Marketing and Communications.

“We have no information that the attacker gained access to any confidential or sensitive information.”

The incident took place in early November during a 24-hour period over the weekend. During that time, says Velder, anyone who called in ended up at a dead end and was essentially dropped from the call if they pressed ‘1’ or ‘2’ on their keypad.

The problem was fixed later that same day and the 800 number has worked fine ever since, Velder adds. PRECorp took immediate steps to address the issue when it occurred and continues to implement additional security controls to prevent an event of this nature from happening again.

PRECorp is aggressively investigating the incident and is formally disputing the $1 million in unauthorized long-distance charges that resulted from it.