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Jan 15 , 2014
 
Posted by Debbie Simock
 
We want to make sure you know about the latest national scam involving electric utility customers. Phishers, those who try to acquire your confidential information by posing as a trustworthy entity, are currently impersonating two different companies by sending electronic bills to customers of other utilities.
 
If you are an Avista customer and receive an electronic bill from PG&E (Pacific Gas & Electric), Atmos Energy or any other energy provider requesting information about your account, you should take the following precautions:
 
-  Do not open the email which includes malicious links that go to compromised websites hosting malware
-  Do not respond to the request
-  Do not click on any links in the email
-  Do not open any attachments
-  Do not provide any personal information
 
There have been several reports from Avista customers who received one of the bogus energy bills.
 
We are also receiving reports from customers receiving calls from an individual claiming to be from Avista and demanding immediate payment of a past due bill or their service will be disconnected immediately. This type of call is not coming from Avista.
 
If you receive a call demanding immediate payment or some type of immediate action such as purchasing a Green Dot MoneyPak or going to a specific retail location to make a same day payment, you should end the call without providing any information or taking any action. Also, report the call to your local law enforcement and notify Avista by calling our contact center at (800) 227-9187.
 
Avista field employees do not go to a customer’s premise to demand payment in order to avoid an immediate disconnection of service. Any Avista employee or authorized contractor will have an Avista photo identification badge. Ask to see the badge if you are in doubt about why someone is on your premise or representing themselves as being from Avista. If the individual does not have the proper identification, you can ask that person to leave. Report the instance to your local law enforcement if you believe you have been the target of a scam.
 
Scam attempts are always occurring, so play it safe. Do not provide your confidential information to anyone or fall victim to high pressure tactics for payment. If you’re in doubt about a phone call or someone representing Avista, contact us at (800) 227-9187.
 
 
Published: 1/15/2014  11:27 AM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post