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National Consumer News

Popular utility scam still hitting consumers

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An Edmond’s business owner is the latest victim of the growing utility phone scam.

Nick Clark shelled out more than $500 for an “overdue” utility bill after someone claiming to be with Puget Sound Energy called and threatened to shut off the power at his UPS store.

“It was fear that came over me,” said Clarke.

Clarke knew he’d paid his bill but when he called the number it seemed legit.

“It seemed like they were PSE. They had an automated system that said they were PSE it said choose from one of these options,” recalled Clarke.

He was told to go to a local drug store and pay the $500 with a pre-paid card.  The Edmonds resident never thought he was being scammed.

The scammers are actually using PSE’s recorded message so I decided to take matters into my own hands and call the scammers myself.

When I told them I was calling from KIRO 7 TV, they told me our power was going to be disconnected in 45 minutes. Don’t worry – our systems are still functioning and these scammers didn’t hit our station.

PSE says there were 47 reports of this scam yesterday alone and it’s not the only utility being targeted in this scam.

You utility company will contact you by mail several times if your bill is past due.  It will also call weeks ahead of a shut down.

And before you return the call of any utility, verify the phone number first.

To view the list of utility companies across Washington and to verify the companies’ numbers, click here.

if you think you’re a victim contact the Washington Attorney General Office and Federal Trade Commission to file a complaint.

 

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