Scammers will never miss an opportunity to trick you into giving them money or your personal information, and the holiday season presents a chance for bad actors to take advantage of your giving spirit. Wednesday, Nov. 15 marks Utility Scam Awareness Day, and PPL Electric Utilities wants to provide tips and information to help you stay safe.
Signs of a potential scam:
- The impostors may call or show up at your door and say they are from PPL Electric.
- Scammers may tell you that your utility bill is past due and will threaten to disconnect service if a payment is not made.
- You may be asked to pay immediately via purchasing a prepaid card or sending funds through a mobile app to pay your bill.
- You may be told somebody is offering lower rates than PPL, when they do not know what your current rate is.
What to do:
- PPL does not sell supplier services by phone or go door to door. If a solicitor claims to represent PPL, call us directly at 1-800-342-5755.
- Only return messages and calls to PPL at our official phone number: 1-800-342-5755.
- Create an online account. This will allow you to check account information and current supplier at any time.
- Update your email address and phone number. This will allow us to send you messages like this.
- Spread the word. If a scammer tries to target you, let your friends and loved ones know.
At PPL Electric, we deliver your electricity, but we don’t own the power plants where it is generated. If you don’t shop for electricity supply, you’ll pay the default rate, or Price to Compare, which is updated twice per year. For customers who don’t shop for power, we are committed to managing energy prices and securing the lowest cost of energy for our customers. The supply cost is passed along without markup to customers.
Remember to stay vigilant and know that anyone can be targeted at any time. Together, we can raise awareness and stop scams.
We join utilities across the nation to warn customers about scams. This year, the Utilities United Against Scams (UUAS) campaign is ‘End the Call. End the Scam.’ The campaign focuses on utility impostor scam calls and the advanced tactics that scammers use to target customers. Since the pandemic began, the number of scams has escalated, and scammers have increased their efforts to take advantage of financial challenges many customers have faced.
So, what can you do to stop a scam and avoid these scammers’ tactics?
UUAS has tips to help:
If you receive a call from a possible scammer, slow down, verify, and stop before you act.
- Slow down. Scammers may ask you for personal information and immediate payment. Don’t let them rush you into making a decision.
- Verify. Scammers often pose as employees. If you are unsure whether the call is from PPL, hang up and check your online account at pplelectric.com or contact us directly.
- Stop before you act. Think about the information the caller is asking of you. If it seems unsafe or incorrect, rethink the situation and ask questions.
Scammers are extremely sophisticated and use strategies that can make you believe they are not an impostor. Here are a few common scams and tips to protect yourself:
- Scammers often threaten immediate service termination. They ask for personal information or demand payments to stop a termination. We’ll never demand immediate cash to avoid shut-off.
- They’ve been taking advantage of increased online activities and are asking for payments through digital payment apps or direct transactions with banking institutions.
- They prey on households with tight budgets. They’ll inform you that you overpaid a bill and are due a refund, but first they’ll ask for your bank account information to process a transfer.
- They also are posing as utility employees by claiming the number on the caller ID does not match the utility’s phone number because of COVID-19 remote work policies.
As creative as these scammers get, it’s important to be vigilant and remember that anyone can be targeted. If a scammer targets you, they may also target your neighbor. That’s why we must continue to raise awareness. Together, we can #StopScams.
Visit the Utilities United Against Scams website for more information.
Utilities United Against Scams, 2021
You hear a lot from us about utility scammers. Why is that?
Because they never take a day off. They’re always looking for the next opportunity to trick you into giving them money or your personal information. Often, they threaten to shut off your power if you don’t pay instantly.
That’s not how we operate at PPL. Ever. We may call you to discuss an overdue bill, but our goal is to help get you the assistance you need. We offer options, not ultimatums. Service will never be disconnected without advance written notice.
It’s always a good time to reinforce how you can avoid becoming a scam victim. These thieves want to catch you off guard and push you into doing something quickly. Don’t fall for it.
If you get a call, an email, or someone comes to your door, and you think it might be a scammer, slow down and use your senses. Look and listen closely. If something doesn’t seem right, call us at 1-800-342-5775 to verify anything someone tells you about your electric service or your account.
Be familiar with your account and account balance. Take time to check what you’re being told against your account at pplelectric.com or on your paper bill.
Another piece of advice: spread the word. ? If a scammer tries to target you, they may also try to target others in your community. Together, we can stop scams.
Learn more: Fraud & Deceptive Marketing