As of Tuesday, November 4, 2014
Pacific Power is warning the public of a phone scam targeting utility customers in the Hood River area where imposters posing as customer service agents are trying to get money and steal personal information.
The fraud is being attempted nationwide, but the utility company reported that in recent days, the scam has seen an upsurge in the Hood River area.
Pacific Power says the scam works like this:
Scammers call residential or small business customers claiming to be from their local electric company and demand payment for overdue bills. Sometimes, the callers tell the intended victim that they need to pay a special deposit for a new meter installation. The scammer advises the customer to make a payment either immediately on the phone via credit card, by calling a special number, or by going to a local store to purchase a pre-paid card and calling back with the code.
Utility customers should be aware this is a scam and not a legitimate request. Pacific Power does not follow this practice.
When Pacific Power contacts a customer, the representative will always have the customer’s account number. Even then, if you are contacted by phone and have any concerns about the validity of the call, it is always appropriate to let the caller know you prefer to call them back at the utility’s published customer service number.
Pacific Power cautions that customers should never provide unsolicited callers or visitors with credit card numbers or any other information that may compromise their financial security. Anyone receiving such calls or other forms of contact regarding their utility account or bill is encouraged to pay close attention to any information, such as the phone number they are asked to call, a number that appears on caller ID, an address where they’re told to send money, and to report the incident to local police and Pacific Power, or their utility provider.
Pacific Power can be reached any time, toll free at 1-888-221-7070.