Scammers often pick up their efforts during times of high inflation. They’ll tell you that if you switch and purchase your electricity supply from them, you’ll save tons of money. Sometimes, they aren’t being truthful. We want you to stay vigilant and know how to identify scammers, so you can stop them in their tracks.
Some of the deceptive and misleading tactics that energy marketing scammers use include:
- Misrepresenting themselves
- Misrepresenting supplier status
- Misrepresenting facts
- Misrepresenting pricing
- Misrepresenting their true intentions
We want to help keep you and your personal information safe. Here’s what you need to know:
- We DO NOT market or sell supplier services by phone or door-to-door.
- Don’t always trust your caller ID.
- Only return messages and calls from us at our official phone number: 1-800-342-5775.
- Create an online account.
- Update your account with a security PIN or password and NEVER give it to anyone who calls you.
- Keep your email address and phone number up to date.
Find out more details about how to protect yourself at pplelectric.com/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
Oftentimes, door-to-door scammers will misrepresent themselves. Not only their identity, but they will also misrepresent what their true intentions are. In those situations, scammers are generally looking to obtain your personal and account information to switch your electricity supplier without your knowledge.
We deliver your electricity, but in Pennsylvania, you can shop around for the supplier that’s right for you. While most suppliers market their services appropriately, some use fraudulent tactics – like misrepresenting themselves as PPL or offering too-good-to-be-true deals – to scam you out of your hard-earned money.
We do not sell supplier services door-to-door. So, if a solicitor is claiming to represent PPL Electric Utilities, you can be sure they are attempting to fool you.
If you want to listen to what the door-to-door salesperson has to say, you can, but the best place to start the shopping process is on our website, pplelectric.com/shopsmart, or by visiting the Public Utility Commission’s site at PAPowerSwitch.com.
Here are some tips to help you identify and slam the door on scammers:
- Scammers will generally pressure you to act fast, don’t let fast-talking push you to give up personal information or make a decision on the spot.
- If someone knocks, claims to be from PPL, and asks for money or for you to sign a contract, don’t do it. We never solicit services or demand payments door-to-door. Tell them you don’t have time to talk and that you’ll be calling us later to discuss.
- Remember, if something doesn’t seem right when talking to a door-to-door salesperson, or something seems too good to be true, it likely is.
- Know what questions to ask when switching suppliers: What is the length of the agreement? Is there an automatic renewal? Are there cancellation, change, or penalty fees? Is this an introductory rate? What is the price after the introductory period?
- Spread the word. If a scammer tries to target you, they may also try to target others in your community. Let neighbors know they should keep an eye out for scammers.
- Creating an online account is a great way to avoid scams. You can check your account information and current electricity supplier at any time, from any device at pplelectric.com.
Would you know what to do if you received a phone call telling you that your electricity would be shut off if you did not pay immediately with a prepaid card?
Scam artists nationwide continue to target electric utility customers by threatening to shut off their service based on false claims of overdue bills.
In the past, we’ve received complaints from both business and residential customers about callers claiming to be from the utility. The scammers falsely claim that the customers are behind on their bills. They demand an immediate payment by way of a pre-paid debit card for the customer to avoid having service disconnected.
How can you avoid these scams?
- Be informed about your account. You can check their account balances by logging on to pplelectric.com with your computer, tablet or smartphone. You can also call PPL Electric Utilities for your account balance at 1-800-DIAL-PPL (1-800-342-5775).
- Know your payment options. Be guarded about anyone who requests immediate payment by phone. We accept payment online, by traditional mail, at payment centers and through the use of credit or debit cards.
- Check with us. If you have any doubts about a caller claiming to represent PPL Electric Utilities, or about information given to you, hang up and call us 1-800-DIAL-PPL (1-800-342-5775) for verification. If things don’t check out, you should call your local police department.
- Know when we’d visit your home. Most visits to customer homes by us or our contractors are prearranged by the customer or through a call to the customer. If someone claiming to be from PPL Electric Utilities comes to your door, ask for proper identification that all of our employees and contractors carry. Most service employees also wear company uniforms and drive company vehicles.
Remember: If you have any doubts about whether someone is representing PPL Electric Utilities, you can always contact us for verification.