PPL Electric Utilities is joining forces with gas and electric utilities across the U. S. and Canada to educate customers about scams. The industry group designated Nov. 16 as “Utilities United Against Scams Day” and will support it with a week-long informational campaign focused on exposing the tricks scammers use to steal money from utility customers, and how customers can protect themselves. Going forward, Utilities United Against Scams Day will be observed on the third Wednesday in November.
“Participation in the Utilities United Against Scams consortium continues our tradition of keeping customers first,” said Greg Dudkin, president of PPL Electric Utilities. “In this case, it’s arming them with information to help protect them against scams. Scams are becoming more sophisticated. The more we spread the word about how these criminals attempt to take advantage of customers, and how customers can thwart them, the less successful the scam efforts will be.”
In August, PPL Electric Utilities warned customers to be aware of a phone scam in which calls appeared to come from the utility and mimic the company’s call center. Customers were told their account was delinquent and they needed to make an immediate payment or have their electricity shut off. In many cases, customers were told to pay with prepaid debit cards and were instructed to call a phony call center, where they were prompted to enter their account information.
These are “red flags” for scam activity:
The caller becomes angry and tells the customer his or her account is past due and service will be disconnected if a payment isn’t made –usually within less than an hour.
The caller instructs the customer to purchase a prepaid debit or credit card –widely available at retail stores –then call back to supposedly make a payment.
How to protect yourself: We don’t ask for personal
information, such as credit card numbers or bank accounts, over the phone.
We don’t accept prepaid debit cards for bill payment.
We never send representatives to a customer’s home to demand payment.
We never call customers threatening to shut off electric service unless immediate payment is received.
Customers who suspect or experience fraud or feel threatened should contact PPL at 1-800-342-5775 as well as their local police.
PPL continues to work with law enforcement, including state attorneys general.
PPL Electric Utilities is a major employer in the communities it serves. It is a subsidiary of PPL Corporation (NYSE: PPL). For more information visit www.pplelectric.com.