Seattle City Light is encouraging customers to continue to be on the lookout for scammers this holiday season. The My Ballard team reported several scamming attempts that took place in our neighborhood back in November.
As temperatures continue to drop and the importance of keeping your home warm rises, Seattle City Light reports that scammers are taking full advantage of the situation by targeting utility customers; threatening to shutoff power unless payment is made to a fraudulent bill collector.
According to Seattle City Light, their team is receiving 25 to 30 reports per week from customers targeted by scams, often from some of Seattle’s most vulnerable residents.
Scammers commonly target non-English speaking individuals, the elderly and small business owners. They use phone calls, email, even home visits, posing as Seattle City Light employees. During the scam, they demand the customer’s financial and personal information in addition to payment with a pre-paid credit card (MoneyPak/GreenDot) or else the customer will face an immediate shutoff of service.
Seattle City Light wants to remind customers that their team does not call, email or visit customers demanding immediate payment to avoid shutoffs. Anyone who falls behind on payments will receive at least two written notifications before the shutoff process starts.
It is also important to remember that City Light employees will never need to enter your home to conduct any kind of test.
If someone claiming to be from City Light approaches you at home and asks for personal or financial information, requests to enter your home, or cannot provide you with employee identification, immediately shut your door, secure your home and call 911.
If you or someone you know suspects a scam attempt or has any questions regarding their bill, City Light encourages you to call a customer service representative at (206) 684-3000.
Seattle City Light is spreading awareness about the scam and hoping to stop it through its “Spot It, Report it, Stop it,” scam prevention campaign.