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Pacific Power warns C.O. customers of phone scams

Several area customers report getting calls from fake 'utility reps'

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Pacific Power is warning of scams targeting several utility customers from Bend to Madras, with the crooks threatening to shut off their power if they don't provide credit card information. 

The scam often starts with a robo-call, convincing unsuspecting customers to call them back at a specific phone number. According to people who received the calls, the scammer says you should pay with a credit card or purchase a prepaid card -- or else they will close your account and the lights will go dark.

Some targets of the Pacific Power scam calls reached out to NewsChannel 21 Saturday through voicemail messaging to warn others.

A message from David Turnbull said, “There’s a scam going on and my wife got called today from what appeared to be Pacific Power. They threatened to come out and turn off our power if we did not pay. When I called and asked why they’re scamming us, they just said, ‘Because we need money.’”

Another person, who did not provide NewsChannel 21 with his name, sent a message on Saturday echoing Turnbull’s situation.

“I wanted to call you guys to let you guys know that there are scam calls going on and they have the same recording from the real power company, asking for immediate payment or they’re going to shut the power off,” the anonymous caller said.

Pacific Power has addressed the fraudulent calls on their Facebook page, providing tips on how to avoid falling victim to these calls.

The utility reminds it won't contact customers demanding immediate payment to avoid disconnection of service the same day. The company also does not ask customers to purchase a prepaid card to pay off their balance.

Pacific Power says scammers could use a tactic to mask their caller ID with the actual phone number of the company to make the call seem legitimate.

For more tips on how to protect yourself from scam calls, visit Pacific Power’s website at https://www.pacificpower.net/my-account/scams.html

Crook County / Deschutes County / News / Top Stories

Rhea Panela

Rhea Panela is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Rhea here.

Comments

3 Comments

  1. We received one of these calls yesterday and were told to call PGE on a particular phone number. We laughed since we don’t have PGE. They didn’t even get our power utility correct!

  2. Ok, how is it even possible to “fall for” this scam if you keep track of your bills and finances? How many people actually just get out their credit card and pay a random what they are asking for?

    1. If one spouse is paying the power bill but somehow the other spouse gets the phone call, it can happen. A neighbor of mine had this happen last week. His wife handles all the regular household bills (including utilities). Sadly for the scammers, my neighbor isn’t stupid. He hung up on the scammer, called the Pacific Power customer service number, and verified that there WAS NOT a shut off order for their power. Then, when the scammer called back a few minutes later, my neighbor told him to go pound sand and hung up on him again. My neighbor didn’t receive any more calls after that.

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