State warns: Watch out for utility phone scammers

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OLYMPIA — The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission is warning utility customers of a telephone scam that’s happening here and across the nation.  The scammers call and claim to be from a utility company.

Then, they threaten to disconnect electric service to consumers’ homes or businesses if they don’t make a payment immediately.  They ask for payments via prepaid credit cards or online payments services like PayPal or GreenDot.

The scammers are clever, and falsify the caller I-D to look like the call originates from an actual utility.  That’s known as ‘spoofing.’

The UTC says you should call your utility to verify any such request for payment.  They urge you to report suspicious calls to the UTC, or the Federal Trade Commission.

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