EPHRATA, Wash. – Telephone scammers are calling PUD customers and threating to shut off their electricity unless an immediate credit card payment is made over the phone.
Customers from Grant, Douglas and Chelan county PUDs have recently reported receiving calls. The scammers identify themselves as being with "the local power company" and the numbers they are calling from do not have a 509 area code.
Terry McKenzie, customer service supervisor for Grant PUD, said Grant PUD does make courtesy calls to customers who are behind on their electricity bills. Customer service representatives making those calls will call from a Grant PUD number and identify themselves as being from Grant PUD.
"The calls we make are a courtesy to the customer," McKenzie said. "We want to ensure they have been receiving their statements and know about their outstanding balance. We can take credit card payments over the phone as a convenience to the customer."
McKenzie suggests customers who are concerned about
the legitimacy of a call regarding their electrical service should tell the
caller they will hang up and call back. Then the customer should return the call
using a Grant PUD number. Grant PUD's main customer service number is (509)
766-2505 or toll free (800) 422-3199. Calls that are suspected to be a scam
should be reported to the customer's local police agency, McKenzie