Consumer Alert: Beware of Con Artists Posing as Utility Bill Collectors

Image of fraud alert sign.Seattle City Light is warning its customers to guard against con artists pretending to be utility bill collectors.

City Light has received more than a dozen reports of attempted fraud this week alone.

Customers reported receiving phone calls from someone who claims to represent the utility. The caller fraudulently claims the customer’s account is overdue and threatens to cut off power unless payment is made immediately over the phone.

“Protect yourself against this scam,” Customer Care Director Kelly Enright said. “Seattle City Light will never demand immediate payment over the phone. If you get a call like this, try to get contact information from the caller, then hang up and call the police and City Light so we can try to put these con artists out of business.”

The recent rise in scam activity follows last month’s consumer alert from Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson warning against an email phishing scam that is disguised as a utility bill.

Here are some tips to avoid being scammed:

Never give out personal or financial information to anyone who emails or calls you.

Hover over the reply address or links in any email message without clicking to see if it includes Seattle City Light’s domain name.

If you are concerned about a phone call, an email notice or the status of your account, contact City Light directly for assistance at (206) 684-3000.

Additional internet safety tips are available from the Attorney General’s website.