Scam Targets Utility Customers in Bend Area

January 14, 2014

BEND, Ore. – Pacific Power is warning the public of a phone scam targeting utility customers in Central Oregon where crooks posing as customer service agents are trying to get money and steal personal information.

Scammers call customers claiming to be from their local electric company. They tell the potential victim that they need to pay a special deposit for a new meter installation. The scam caller advises the customer to make a payment either immediately on the phone, by calling a special number, or by going to a local store to purchase a pre-paid card and calling back with the code.

Utility customers should be aware this is not a legitimate request and Pacific Power does not follow this practice.

When Pacific Power contacts a customer, the representative will always have the customer's account number. Even then, if you are contacted by phone and have any concerns about the validity of the call, it is always appropriate to let the caller know you prefer to call them back at the utility's published customer service number.

Pacific Power can be reached any time, toll free at 1-888-221-7070.

"These scammers 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 Karen Gilmore, Pacific Power's vice president of customer service.

Customers should never provide unsolicited callers or visitors with credit card numbers or any other information that may compromise their financial security.

Anyone receiving such calls or other forms of contact regarding their utility account or bill is encouraged to pay close attention to any information – such as the phone number they are asked to call, a number that appears on caller ID, an address where they're told to send money – and to report the incident to local police and their utility provider.