PPL warns public of sophisticated utility company phone scams
ALLENTOWN, Pa. – PPL Electric Utilities is warning its customers to be aware of a phone scam in which calls appear to come from the utility and mimic the company’s call center.
Customers are being called and told their account is delinquent and they need to make an immediate payment or have their electricity shut off. In many cases, customers are being told to pay with prepaid debit cards. They are being instructed to call a phony call center, where they are prompted to enter their account information.
In one brazen attempt, a scammer walked into a business pretending to be from PPL and demanded money under threat of a service shut-off, but was unsuccessful.
Threatened shut-offs are a tactic used in previous scam attempts against PPL customers and at other utilities across the country.
The bogus number that customers are being told to call— 855-625-7634 — has been associated with other scams against utility customers in other parts of the country. Another number — 844-255-4708 — also is being used. In some cases, the bogus number has been set up to look on Caller ID like it is from PPL.
Mostly business, and some residential, customers have been targeted by the recent scams.
PPL reminds its residential and small business customers that the only number they should be calling to discuss their account is 1-800-DIAL-PPL (1-800-342-5775). Mid-size to large businesses can call 1-888-220-9991, option 4.
“We want all of our customers to be aware of this sophisticated scam activity and be prepared,” said Christopher Cardenas, customer services vice president. “We continue to work with law enforcement on these cases, and we urge any customers who receive scam calls to notify their local police.”
Here is important information to avoid scams:
• PPL never sends anyone to demand bill payment
• PPL does not call customers seeking personal information
• PPL never calls customers threatening to shut off electric service unless immediate payment is made
• PPL does not accept Green Dot or other prepaid debit cards for bill payments
PPL does conduct collections activities on accounts that are legitimately delinquent. Service termination always is a last resort. When PPL begins the service termination process, it provides a formal notification that involves a letter and phone call as well as information left at the address in question. At any time, a customer who is delinquent can call PPL to make a payment arrangement and avoid shutoff.
Be sure to report any scam attempts to PPL at 1-800-342-5775 and also to local police.
Source: PPL press release