Scams are becoming more common these days and they’re everywhere. Scammers are tricky, polished, and pretty convincing. We learned recently that numerous PUD customers received calls from telephone scammers that are targeting our service territory. That's why we want you to have information to help make sure you don't become a victim of common scams.
Pend Oreille PUD cautions customers to be aware of telephone scams. Beware of phone calls threatening disconnection of your power due to non-payment. If you receive a call instructing you to provide a credit card number in order for your PUD account to be reinstated, it is a scam. The PUD does make phone calls to customers regarding delinquent accounts, however, we do not take payment over the phone. Customers who receive suspicious phone calls should hang up and call the PUD at 509-447-3137. For more information surrounding various types of scams, see below.
Telephone Scams: A caller identifies themselves as being with the PUD, warning customers that that there is a problem with their account or a new meter needs installed, and an immediate payment is needed. The caller uses high pressure tactics to tell you your power will be disconnected immediately if a payment is not made. You may be directed to transfer funds electronically, sometimes through money wiring systems or pre-paid cards.
You may be asked by a scammer to make a same-day payment at a retail location to avoid disconnection. Spoofing technology might even show that the call is coming from the PUD when the call is actually from a scammer, so be alert to aggressive tactics.
Door-to-Door Scams: Be alert to anyone who shows up at your home and uses high pressure tactics to demand immediate payment to avoid having your service disconnected. Scammers can try to appear legitimate by carrying a walkie-talkie and wearing a hard hat and neon vest. PUD employees, however, all carry a PUD photo ID badge.
If you suspect anything, always ask to see the person’s PUD badge. You can also call us to verify that person’s identity. In most cases, scammers will quickly depart if you tell them you’re going to do so. If you do not have a scheduled appointment with us, or you doubt the identification of the person, do not let them into your home.
Email Scams: Scammers can easily lift our logo from online and create emails that look like they are from the PUD, so if you do not recognize the sender's email address, take the following precautions: Never open an unfamiliar email as it may include malicious links that go to a compromised website hosting malware, do not respond to the request or provide any personal information, and never click on any links or open any attachments.
It’s wise to be cautious, scams of all kinds target utility customers all over the country and are typically more active around holidays. If you are ever suspicious about any call or communication, feel free to check in with us at (509) 447-3137. Our Customer Service Representatives are available to verify if the contact is actually coming from the PUD.