4th Annual Utility Scam Awareness Day
Wednesday is the 4th annual Utility Scam Awareness Day and to recognize the day, Pennsylvania American Water joined Utilities United Against Scams (UUAS).
UUAS is a group of more than 140 American and Canadian utility companies. Together, the organization hope to raise awareness and stop toll-free numbers from being used to scam utility customers.
“It is so important for our customers to stay vigilant and know how to detect, avoid and report utility scams,” said Pennsylvania American Water President Mike Doran, “Our employees care about our customers’ safety, and we don’t mind waiting for our customers to ask questions, call us back on our customer service line, request to see company-issued photo ID badges, and verify that we are legitimate utility representatives conducting legitimate utility business. We believe it’s worth the peace of mind for our customers.”
Pennsylvania American Water officials want to remind people of common techniques used by scammers:
Scammers may text, call or email utility customers asking for immediate payment to avoid service disconnection.
- Utilities will never send a single notification to a customer within one hour of a service interruption, and they never will ask their customers to make payments with a pre-paid debit card, gift card, or any form of cryptocurrency.
Pennsylvania American Water service personnel wear uniforms, drive company-branded vehicles, and wear photo identification badges with the company’s logo.
- Residents are urged to take the time to ask for and examine the photo identification badge whenever an individual claiming to be a utility worker arrives at their home or business. Pennsylvania American Water does not accept payment at a customer’s house. Customers with any suspicions should call 9-1-1, or Pennsylvania American Water’s customer service center at 1-800-565-7292.
Customers who suspect that they have been victims of fraud or who feel threatened during contact with a scammer should contact their local utility company or law enforcement authorities. The Federal Trade Commission’s website also provides additional information about protecting personal information and other information regarding impostor scams.
Follow Pennsylvania American Water on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for scam awareness tips throughout the week. Customers can also visit www.utilitiesunited.org for more information and tips on how customers can protect themselves from impostor utility scams and follow along with UUAS on Twitter and Facebook.