Pacific Power warns of phone scam demanding payment for late utility bills
PORTLAND, Ore. – Pacific Power is warning people of a phone scam where someone is posing as a utility employee and demanding money from customers.
Last week, Pacific Power started taking reports from customers who said they’d received fraudulent calls from scammers who were demanding payment for late utility bills.
Utility officials said customers can protect themselves by looking for these signs that the call is a scam:
- If the caller says he is with the "Pacific Power Disconnection Department." No such department exists.
- If the caller asks for your credit card number or advises you to purchase a pre-paid card from a store and to call back with the code. Pacific Power will not ask for this information. We can facilitate credit card payments through our vendor upon request, but our employees don't handle these payments directly.
- If the caller claims your electric service will be disconnected if you don't make a payment immediately, particularly if you haven't received any prior notice about late payments or a potential disconnection. We don't threaten our customers. Instead, we work with customers who are behind on their payments to help them get back on track. Generally, notices about past due bills are sent to customers in the mail or delivered to their home, or they receive an automated phone message.
- If you receive one of these scam calls, ask the caller to state your account number and compare it with the number listed on your bill. Pacific Power customer service employees will always have your account number.
Officials also advise that if customers don’t think a call is legitimate, they can hang up and call Pacific Power’s customer service back to ensure they are talking with the real company.