Phoenix (Wednesday, April 2, 2014) – Attorney General Tom Horne is warning consumers to be cautious of scams related to utility companies including Salt River Project (SRP), Arizona Public Service (APS), and Tucson Electric Power (TEP).
Scam artists posing as SRP, APS, and TEP employees have reportedly been calling customers threatening to shut off power within a couple of hours if payment is not made immediately. They request payment in the form of a pre-paid card, credit card, or through PayPal. They claim they are from the utility company’s Disconnect Department and then give consumers a phone number to call once they have purchased the pre-paid card. Once customers call back and give them payment information, scammers then have access to the consumers’ money. On other occasions, scammers have gone to consumers’ homes and asked for money to keep the power on or make repairs to the equipment.
Scammers are targeting both individual consumers and small businesses. In the case of businesses, they are calling during busy times. For example, scammers called flower businesses on Valentine’s Day. They have also called restaurants during the lunch rush.
The utility companies do not make these types of calls nor do they ask for these methods of payment over the phone. If your payment is past the due date, the utility company will send out a reminder bill if the account becomes eligible for disconnection and will place an automated call that gives you the option to talk with the company.
There are ways that you can protect yourself from scammers. Below are some helpful tips:
For SRP customers:
- Call the Residential Contact Center at (602) 236-8888, or the Business Contact Center at (602) 236-8833, to receive accurate information about your account and SRP employee identification.
- SRP recommends signing up for MyAccount to view and manage accounts online at any time on www.srpnet.com.
- For additional info about scams, SRP customers can visit http://www.srpnet.com/about/scam.aspx.
For APS customers:
- Call Residential Customer Care at (602) 371-7171 (Phoenix-metro area) or (800) 253-9405 (other areas), or Business Customer Care at (602) 371-6767 (Phoenix-metro area) or (800) 253-9407 (other areas) to receive accurate information about your APS account.
- Customers can also view their account information online at http://www.aps.com/en/residential/accountservices.
For TEP customers:
- Call Customer Care at (520) 623-7711 to receive accurate information about your residential or commercial TEP account.
- Customers can also view their account information online at https://www.tep.com/customer.
For all consumers:
Never give your credit or debit card number or other personal information to any caller or visitor without knowing their true identity.
Report possible scams. If you suspect a scam, report it to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office by filing a consumer complaint at https://www.azag.gov/complaints/consumer. You may also contact us by phone at (602) 542-5763 (Phoenix), (520) 628-6504 (Tucson), or toll free outside metro Phoenix, (800) 352-8431, or by email at email@example.com.