PORTLAND -- Pacific Power is warning customers in Oregon, Washington and California to be aware of scammers posing as company customer service agents or attorneys and offering phony bill credits.
During the con, consumers, often the elderly, are told that under a new federal grant, they can receive a utility bill credit or have their bills paid directly. The potential victims are told they must first provide their Social Security, credit card or check routing number to take advantage of the deal.
But no such federal program exists, according to Pacific Power.
"These thieves are in no way associated with our company, and we take very seriously any efforts to defraud our customers, especially using our company's good customer relationships and reputation," said Pat Egan, Pacific Power's vice president of customer and community affairs.
Some customers who have received such calls have been told their electricity will be disconnected if they don't provide their credit card information.
Anyone targeted by the scam was advised to hang up and immediately report it to local police and Pacific Power.
Investigators said some of the scammers have even been handing out flyers in person. Others were using social media, text messages or phone calls to reach customers.
Pacific Power also wanted to remind customers that their employees always wear identification badges when performing work in the field. In addition, all Pacific Power vehicles are marked with the company's name or logo
For additional information, call 1-888-221-7070 toll-free, or visit the Pacific Power website.