The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) is warning utility consumers of a growing telephone scam where callers are claiming to be from a utility company and then demanding immediate payment. According to the UTC the callers are threatening “customers with disconnecting electric service to their home or business if they don’t make a payment immediately. The scam artist instructs them to send money via prepaid card or online payment service, such as PayPal or GreenDot, before their power is shut off. The scammer’s caller-ID is falsified so it appears to originate from the utility company, a practice known as ‘spoofing.’”
Customers are advised to call their utility company to verify the requests before giving out any personal information. Consumers are also urged to report suspicious calls to both the UTC and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
UTC: 1-888-333-WUTC (9882), FTC: 1-888-CALLFCC (1-888-225-5322 or www.ftc.gov). THE FTC is currently closed due to the government shut down.