Pacific Power warning of phone scam

PORTLAND, Ore. - If you get a phone call from Pacific Power saying your service is about to be shut off, you might want to check your caller ID.

Pacific Power officials are warning the public of a phone scam targeting utility customers in the region where crooks posing as customer service agents are trying to get money and steal personal information.

Scammers call customers claiming to be from their local electric company, saying the potential victim has not paid for their service and are in jeopardy of being disconnected.

In some cases, the callers say customers need to pay a special meter charge.

The scam caller advises the customer to make a payment either immediately on the phone, by calling a special number or by going to a local store to purchase a pre-paid card and calling back with the code.

Utility customers should be aware this is not a legitimate request and Pacific Power does not follow this practice.

When Pacific Power contacts a customer, the representative will always have the customer's account number.

They say that even then, if you are contacted by phone and have any concerns about the validity of the call, it is always appropriate to let the caller know you prefer to call them back at the utility's published customer service number.

Pacific Power can be reached any time, toll free at 1-888-221-7070.

In the past several days, fraudulent calls have been made to the homes and businesses of Pacific Power customers. The calls are similar to those that have plagued customers nationwide. "These scammers are in no way associated with our company and we take very seriously any efforts to defraud our customers, especially using our company's good customer relationships and reputation," said Karen Gilmore, Pacific Power's vice president of customer service.

Customers should never provide unsolicited callers or visitors with credit card numbers or any other information that may compromise their financial security.

Anyone receiving such calls or other forms of contact regarding their utility bill is encouraged to pay close attention to any information - such as the phone number they are asked to call, a number that appears on caller ID, an address where they're told to send money - and to report the incident to local police and their utility provider.