PUD warns of utility scam through phone solicitation

The Okanogan County PUD asks people to be on alert for a phone scam targeting PUD customers and businesses.

Threats come from aggressive callers posing as utility employees threatening to shut off the customer’s power unless immediate payment is made with a credit or debit card. The utility advises people that receive a suspicious phone call regarding their power bill to hang up the phone.

Those with any doubts about the status of their electric service, can call the PUD’s main phone number of 509-422-3310 or utilize their SmartHub online bill pay system to verify their account information.

“Always remember to protect yourself from high pressure, aggressive scam artists by not giving out any personal financial information,” writes the PUD in a recent consumer alert.

Report suspicious calls to the lead agencies investigating nationwide scams: The Washington State Attorney General’s Office at 1-800-551-4636 or the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at 1-877-382-4357. You may also visit the FTC website www.consumer.ftc.gov/scam-alerts or the Better Business Bureau Scam Stopper website www.bbb.org/scamtracker/council/reportscam to file a complaint online.

“Keeping our ratepayers safe is of the utmost importance,” says the utility.

As scams are discovered, the Okanogan PUD will post current information on their website at www.okanoganpud.org and our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/okanoganpud.