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Phone scammers target C. Oregon Pacific Power customers


Pacific Power warned Monday that a telephone scam has been targeting utility customers in Central Oregon in recent days and reminded them to beware and not provide such callers with any information.

In the last week, customers in Central Oregon have reported receiving fraudulent calls from scammers posing as utility representatives. The callers insist that the customer is behind on their bill. They then threaten that, without an immediate payment, service will be disconnected.

The utility said customers can protect themselves from these types of schemes by being aware of the following signs that indicate fraudulent calls:

* If the caller says he is with the “Pacific Power Disconnection Department.” No such department exists.
* If the caller asks for your credit card number or advises you to purchase a pre-paid card from a store and to call back with the code. Pacific Power will not ask for this information. We can facilitate credit card payments through our vendor upon request, but our employees don’t handle these payments directly.
* If the caller claims your electric service will be disconnected if you don’t make a payment immediately, particularly if you haven’t received any prior notice about late payments or a potential disconnection. We don’t threaten our customers. Instead, we work with customers who are behind on their payments to help them get back on track. Generally, notices about past due bills are sent to customers in the mail or delivered to their home, or they receive an automated phone message.

If you receive one of these calls, ask the caller to state your account number and compare it with the number listed on your bill. Pacific Power customer service employees will always have your account number.

Remember, if you still have concerns about the legitimacy of a call, you can always call back at Pacific Power’s published customer service number, 1-888-221-7070. It’s a toll-free call and they have customer service employees available around the clock.

If you receive a suspicious call, the company urges that you take note of the phone number the person is calling from and any information that may help to track down the crooks. You are then asked to call and let Pacific Power know at 1-888-221-7070.

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