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Better Business Bureau of NW warns: Utility scam resurfacing

Report it to police if it happens to you

PORTLAND, Ore. - Better Business Bureau Northwest & Pacific said Friday it has received multiple reports of scammers calling residents and businesses claiming to be with the local power company and threatening to shut off their power if they don’t pay up.

Utility company imposters will typically reach out by telephone or knock on your door claiming to be a representative from the local water, electric or gas company. In the most common scenario, the scammer informs you that payment is overdue and the utility will be shut off if you don’t pay immediately.

How to spot this scam:

  • Restrictive payment methods. If a caller specifically asks you to pay by prepaid debit card or wire transfer, this is a huge warning sign. Your utility company will accept a check or credit card – payment methods which are easier to track and later dispute if necessary.
  • Pressure to pay immediately. If you feel pressured for immediate payment or personal information, hang up the phone and call the customer service number on your utility bill. This will ensure you are speaking to a real representative.

Anyone who believes they may have been a victim of a scam should contact their local law enforcement and report it to BBB Scam Tracker at bbb.org/scamtracker.


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