New schemes use social media, texting, automated phone calls

PUD reminds customers about potential scams, verify identity

Jul 25, 2012

Snohomish County PUD would like to remind customers about potential scams that aim to steal customers’ identity and bill payment information.

Criminals use various means of solicitation, including in person door-to-door visits, social media, fliers, phone calls and text messages. Electric utilities in states across the United States have seen an uptick in scams recently.

One ploy attempts to lure customers by telling them there is special funding through the Federal Reserve Bank for utility bill assistance; however, there is no such funding.

Customers are typically asked for personal information, such as social security numbers. They then provide victims with a fraudulent bank routing number with which to pay their utility bills.

If a PUD customer receives a phone call asking for financial information related to their bill, they should never provide this information. The PUD never calls customers to collect credit card information over the phone.

The only time a credit card number is taken over the phone is through an outside, bill payment service. In this case, the phone call and payment is initiated by the customer by calling 1-888-909-4628.

If a customer receives a phone call, supposedly from the utility, and aren’t sure if it actually came from the PUD, they should call PUD Customer Service, at 425-783-1000 to verify the information they were given.

The PUD representative will be able to tell them whether or not the call was legitimate.

If a person comes to a customer’s home or business claiming to be a PUD employee, they should ask to see their PUD identification. Employees carry an ID card with their picture on it and will gladly show it to customers.

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