PORTLAND, Ore. — Scammers, pretending to be with Portland General Electric, are using this busy time of year to try and trick you out of your money.

Several viewers contacted our KGW Investigates team to warn others after they fell victim to the scam.

According to the viewers, scammers are calling and threatening to shut off people’s power unless they pay their “overdue bill” immediately.

One woman said they had her download the Cash app and she paid them nearly $1,500.

A spokeswoman with PGE said they’ve seen a spike in the number of customers reporting this scam.

The company will never give such a short window for you to pay your bill or lose service.

Three signs it’s a scam:

  • The caller says they’re on the way to shut your power off and you must pay immediately. PGE will never give such short notice.
  • The scammer insists that you pay with a prepaid card. PGE will never ask you to buy a prepaid card to pay your bill.
  • They ask for an amount just below $500 or $1,000.

If a customer suspects they may be dealing with a scammer, they should hang up and call PGE back at 800-542-8818 to check their account and confirm whether they’re behind on a payment.

Although rare, if a scammer comes to your door and demands payment of a bill, ask to see their PGE employee badge and call to verify. The number to call is right on the badge.

Since scammers also work over email, by text and door-to-door, PGE posted additional tips to help customers avoid being taken advantage of all year long. 

Do you have a story idea or tip for Cristin? Email her at callcristin@kgw.com.

MORE: Woman mistakenly paid $5,784 on $57.84 AT&T bill and still hasn’t received her refund

MORE: Inside Woodlawn Extra: Christmas for Kids