Seattle City Light’s Advanced Metering program is in full swing, and we are well on our way towards our goal of installing 420,000 new meters across our service area. But we have heard some troubling reports today: Phone scammers are calling City Light customers and using Advanced Metering installations as a pretext to swindle hard-working folks out of their money.
Advanced Metering costs are covered by City Light’s operating expenses. If anyone claims over the phone that you owe money before you can get a new meter, hang up right away.
Seattle City Light wants to empower and protect customers from falling victim to scam attacks. We will never call demanding immediate payment over the phone. If you receive a call from someone demanding payment, hang up on them and be a hang-up hero.
We follow specific protocol when receiving payments or notifying a customer when we will shut off power. We are not demanding payment for the new meters being installed and will never demand immediate payment for any type of service we provide.
Seattle City Light employees will:
- Never call, email or make a home visit requesting an immediate payment.
- Never call on the weekend
- Never call to request credit card, banking, or financial information
- Never email you to request credit card, banking, or financial information
- Never request credit card banking or financial information during a home visit
- Never shut off service without providing written warning in advance
- Always provide Employee Identification
Scammers may demand thousands of dollars and threaten to shut off power if payment isn’t made immediately. Vulnerable residents may be specially targeted by scammers including non-English speaking individuals, elderly people, and small-business owners. These threats can take place over the phone, by email, or in-person at customer homes and businesses. Some scammers may use caller ID impersonating Seattle City Light’s customer service number to convince customers that they are talking to the utility.
“Just hang up on anyone demanding immediate payment,” says Kelly Enright, Director of Customer Care at Seattle City Light. “If you’re ever in doubt when you receive a suspicious call, just reach out to us directly. By initiating the call, you’ll have more confidence in who you’re speaking with on the other end of the line.”
If customers have concerns about the validity of a contact and want to ensure they’re talking to Seattle City Light, they are encouraged to call Seattle City Light directly at (206) 684-3000. Learn more about how to avoid becoming a victim at: www.seattle.gov/light/EndScams.