Each year, Pacific Power is notified of instances where customers were defrauded by individuals claiming to be from the utility. While these incidents are isolated, we are urging customers to take extra precautions to protect themselves.
We offer the following suggestions to help ensure customers and their personal information, bank accounts and sense of security are kept safe:
- Please be aware of our practices, identification and methods of contacting customers:
- Pacific Power employees wear identification badges when performing work in the field. If the ID is not visible and you don't see any other Pacific Power logo, you should ask the individual to show you their badge.
- All company vehicles are marked with the company's name or logo. If you are approached by someone claiming to be from Pacific Power, check to see if their vehicle is clearly marked and/or ask for ID.
- Our employees will not demand immediate payment for damaged or broken electrical equipment or any other service. Be suspicious of anyone who approaches you and asks for on-the-spot payment, especially if they ask for cash.
- Our payment collection practices include written notices by mail and a good-faith attempt to work with the customer to make payment arrangements prior to service disconnection.
- If we contact a customer, the company representative will always have the customer's account number and refer to that number throughout their interaction. Conversely, if a customer calls us to ask questions or pay their bill by phone, our representative will ask the customer to verify his or her identity to protect access to their account. Pacific Power routinely asks for Social Security Numbers for verification and will request banking information for bill payment. The key difference in these situations is that the customer has initiated the call and therefore knows who they are talking with. The danger for customers is when individuals call or visit them and are unable to prove they're with Pacific Power.
- Please call us immediately to report an attempted scam at 1-888-221-7070, and contact the Consumer Protection Agency in your state.
- If you are in doubt that the caller or visitor represents Pacific Power, please call us at 1-888-221-7070 to confirm the person's identity and role with the company before proceeding with any transaction.
Ultimately, the recent scams can have two significantly negative impacts. One is the obvious and often immediate monetary impact for the victim. The second is more far-reaching as it may lead to the theft of one's identity. Following are some steps to take if you believe more than just money has been stolen:
- Report to law enforcement. Provide as much documentation as you can and request a copy of the police report to give to creditors.
- Place a fraud alert on your credit report. Call the toll-free numbers of the three major credit bureaus to place the alert: Equifax, 1-800-525-6285 (to report fraud) or 1-800-685-1111 ( to request your credit report), Experian, 1-888-397-3742, TransUnion, 1-800-680-7289 (to report fraud) or 1-800-888-4213 (to request your credit report)
- Close accounts that have been compromised. Also put a "stop payment" on outstanding checks.
We encourage people to be vigilant in safeguarding their personal information, and to remember the most basic rule of all — use common sense. If something about the situation doesn't feel right, it's better to be safe rather than sorry and to check up on the person or request before acting.