PORTLAND -- A Unit 8 follow-up to an investigation into an email scam targeting Portland businesses found that the scam is now targeting individual consumers.
The latest scam is coming in the form of an email that is supposed to look like it is from the PGE utility company.
“We’ve been trying to get the word out to our customers for awhile now,” says PGE spokesperson Brianne Hyder. “If customers have any questions about it, be it a phone call they may receive saying they’re past due on their bill, or an email, always call us if they have questions about that.”
The email informs consumers their utility bill is ready to view online. Late last month, Unit 8 showed viewers how the scam was affecting dry cleaners and other small businesses in Portland.
But now consumers say they're also being scammed.
If you get an email from these scammers and click on the hyperlinks, it will take you to a malware site that will infect your computer, laptop or mobile device.
Then, the malware will go after your banking information or attempt to steal usernames and passwords.
PGE customers are especially vulnerable because the utility company offers a service to its customers that allows them to receive an email to view and pay their bills.
“These emails don’t look like PGE, they are identifying themselves as PG&E, so I think just in general if there’s questions about whether this is legitimate or not, always go to PGE’s website, which is portlandgeneral.com,” Hyder said.
The email is also showing up in customers' inboxes, posing as Northwest Natural and Pacific Power. Some of them arrive as emails from Atoms Energy, a gas and energy company out of Dallas, TX.
If you receive these emails, experts say the best advice is to delete them.