GRANTS PASS, Ore. – Pacific Power is warning customers about a new scam in Southern Oregon.
The utility provider said a few people in the Grants Pass area told them about fraudulent emails and texts from scammers posing as Pacific Power representatives. The scammers tell the customer they’re behind on payments or need to pay for a meter change. They even provide a fake bill with a phone number that connects to someone who tries to get money from the customer.
According to Pacific Power, the scammers will threaten to shut off the power if they don’t immediately get money from the victim.
“This illegal activity seeks to erode the trust our customers have in us,” said Barb Coughlin, vice president of customer service for Pacific Power. “We want to protect our customers from this fraudulent activity in any way we can.”
Pacific Power provided the following tips to help customers avoid scammers:
- If the caller says he is with the “Pacific Power Disconnection Department.” No such department exists. Two of the emails use the title “Pacific Power Corp” which is not the company’s name.
- Don’t be deceived. Even if the Caller ID on your phone reads out 888-221-7070, our customer service line, don’t be deceived. The scammers are technically sophisticated and able to put out false numbers on caller ID in order to make their call seem more credible.
- 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. Pacific Power offers a wide variety of ways to pay and will not direct on which option to use.
- 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.
According to Pacific Power, you can also cross-reference your real account number with the one provided on any bills. Fake bills will not have the correct number.
Customers with further questions can call Pacific Power 24/7 at 1-888-221-7070.
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