Term Utility Power Shut Off Scam Reporting
Code FN-1700.1470-940
Definition Programs that provide a hotline or other mechanisms that people can use to report the activities of scammers purporting to work with the utility company who threaten to turn the individual's water or power off if they don't pay an overdue bill. The potential victims, often seniors, are told that the only way to avoid a shutoff is to pay up immediately, typically via wire transfer, gift card or some other difficult-to-stop payment method. Victims who suspect a scam are advised to call their utility company using the phone number on their bill to verify their payment status and report the incident. Authentic utility companies will never seek payment by telephone, will never ask for a credit card number and will not cut customers off without giving them instructions for a timely remittance on a payment schedule that will work for them. Individuals receiving a call or other contacts from scammers should hang up and report the incident to the Federal Trade Commission at "ftc.gov/complaint". The FTC will use the information to build a case against the scammers.
Created 9/22/20
Changed 9/30/20
Use References Electric Power Shut Off Scam Reporting
Hydro Power Shut Off Scam Reporting
Natural Gas Power Shut Off Scam Reporting
Water Shut Off Scam Reporting
See Also References Impersonation Scam Reporting (FN-1700.1470-322)
Utility Assistance (BV-8900)
External Classification Terms Citizen Crime Reporting (NPC I02.02)
Criminal Law Enforcement (UW 6.1.02.05)
Law Enforcement (NTE I60)
Legal, Consumer and Public Safety Services (AIRS LE-450)
Legal/Public Safety (CAN LP-450)
Related Concepts Financial Services/Benefits
Facet Service
Comments
Bibliographic References "Don't fall for 'utility' power shut-off scam", David Lazarus column, Los Angeles Times, Tuesday, September 22, 2020.

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