Pasadena Water and Power is warning customers to watch out for scammers who have been preying on Pasadena residents over recent weeks, pretending to be PWP representatives and then harassing them if they have unpaid water and power bills.
“Protect Yourself from Fraud. Criminals have been known to use various scams to steal bill payments and identity information from utility customers,” PWP said in an advisory on the utility’s webpage.
PWP said some of the common scams involve phone calls, home visits and online solicitations promoting government utility assistance programs and that ask for social security or banking information, calls or visits from someone posing as a PWP representative who demands payment and threatens to turn off water or electric service, and unscheduled home visits from scammers posing as PWP meter readers or inspectors or contractors offering home energy audit services.
Some recent incidents reported to PWP involve customers who have been contacted from 1-800 numbers and being directed to pay a large bill of over $1,500 within 30 minutes or face shut off.
At other times, customers have been asked to call 1-800 numbers to make bill payments through a fake “business center” that would lead to payments being stolen.
PWP said they would never contact customers from an 800- area code. The utility also explained they do not notify customers of their account status by phone. Customers with delinquent accounts will receive a “Final Notice” and “Disconnect Notice” from PWP by U.S. Mail notifying them of their account status.
Delinquent payments are to be made in person at the Pasadena City Hall Municipal Services counter, online via customer login, or by phone at (626) 744-4005.
PWP also said their employees will always wear a visible picture ID, with the city seal and an employee number, and have their supervisor’s phone number on hand.
Customers should always look for an official city vehicle outside when legitimate PWP employees visit. Employees never use their personal vehicles to make service calls, PWP said.
If you suspect you are being targeted by scammers, you should inform PWP’s Customer Service at (626) 744-4005.
If you are a victim of fraud and have made payment to another entity under false pretenses, please contact the Federal Trade Commission, www.ftc.gov, and report the incident.
For more information, visit www.cityofpasadena.net/water-and-power/fraudprotection.