PUD Warns Customers of Telephone Scam

August 14, 2013 – PUD customers should be wary of giving out information over the telephone because of a scam targeting utility customers in the area for the second time this year.

This week, a PUD customer reported receiving a call threatening to disconnect power if payment wasn’t made immediately over the phone via credit card, or by purchasing a pre-paid credit card and calling back with the code. Two PUD customers reported receiving similar calls last April, and other utilities throughout the northwest have reported that similar calls have been placed to their customers this year.

“This type of telephone scam seems to be growing more common,” said PUD Accounting and Customer Service Manager Sheila Duehring. “If you have any doubts about a caller’s identity, don’t give them any information.”

Read more about how to recognize scam calls.

Customers who receive suspicious phone calls are encouraged to note the phone number on their caller ID, the phone number they are asked to call with the payment information, and any other information that the caller provides. End the call without providing any information to the caller and then contact the local police and the PUD at (503) 397-0590 to report the call.

The PUD provides several types of notification to customers who are facing disconnection for nonpayment, including mailed notices, door hangers and phone calls. The PUD also offers several payment options, including visiting local pay stations, visiting the PUD office, or paying online at www.crpud.net.

“We would never demand a payment only by credit card or prepaid credit card,” said Duehring. “We’ll always offer other payment options, so if that’s the only choice being offered, it’s not the PUD calling you.”

If you receive a suspicious call:

– Write down the phone number you are asked to call with payment information.

– Write down any other information the caller provides.

– Hang up and call the police and the PUD to report the call.