Recently, members of PenLight were targeted by scammers threatening to disconnect electric service if the member did not purchase a prepaid gift or credit card for the amount owed.
Scammers pay attention to utility trends. Recent scams have threatened to disconnect due to a billing error from a meter change or offered a reimbursement for overpayment — but only if the member provides a debit or credit card number first. It is best practice to always do your due diligence and call PenLight to verify any suspicious claims.
Unfortunately, in today’s world, scams are inevitable. Scammers can threaten you with everything from legal action involving the IRS to turning off power to your home. To help protect our members, here are a few tips to help keep you from falling victim to these types of scams.
Utility scams often involve an individual or group posing as an employee of your electric cooperative. The scammer may use threatening language in order to frighten you into offering your credit card or bank account information. If someone calls your home or cellphone demanding you pay your electric bill immediately, gather as much information as you can from that individual, hang up the phone and contact the local authorities. Do not give them any personal information.
Scammers often use threats and urgency to pressure you into giving them your bank account number or loading a prepaid credit or debit card. If you have any doubts about your utility bill, contact our member services department directly at (253) 857-5950.
PenLight wants to ensure that our members avoid any type of scam that could put them or their financial information in jeopardy. Understand the threats posed and your best course of action. If you have any questions or would like more information about how to protect yourself from scammers, call us, or visit our website.
- Familiarize yourself with scam reports in your area.
- Verify your account status before paying.
- Ask for proof of identification.
- Protect your information; Never throw out bills without shredding them first.