Grant PUD is reporting that a large number of customers are receiving phone calls from scammers using terms like “disconnect order” and telling them that they will have their power shut off unless they make an immediate payment. Some of the scammers have even set up their caller identification to make it look like they are calling from a local number.
“The best thing customers can do when they receive these types of calls are to hang up the phone and if possible block the number,” said Chuck Allen, Grant PUD Public Affairs supervisor. “If customers are unsure about the status of their account, they can always call us at our customer service number, which is 509-766-2505 to talk to a Customer Service Representative in our call center here in Grant County.”
Allen added that scammers are growing more and more sophisticated in their approach.
“It used to be that these phone scammers were over-the-top in their tone and language and they would try to aggressively bully customers into making a snap decision because they are fearful that their power might be shut off,” Allen said. “Now it seems like they are becoming more sophisticated and are trying to use language that mirrors what might actually come from a utility. They also are trying to be more and more crafty by setting up their caller ID to look like it’s coming from a local number. That’s why we encourage all of our customers to just hang up as soon as they think the call is suspicious and then call us back if they aren’t sure if their account is current.”
Allen said there are times when Grant PUD employees do make legitimate courtesy calls to notify customers if a payment is overdue, but in these cases, the local person making those calls is doing this to inform the customer of their account status and is not trying to get the customer to make an immediate decision over the phone.
“Even if we are making a legitimate courtesy call to our customers, we promise we won’t mind if the customer tells us they are going to hang up and call us back to verify the call,” Allen said, adding that he hadn’t heard of any customers falling for the recent scam calls.