KIRO TV’s Jesse Jones has announced that an Edmonds small business owner was scammed out of more than $500 for an “overdue” utility bill by someone claiming to be from PSE. Some unique techniques that the scammers were using include:
· They call you and leave a message to call or hang up before you have a chance to respond.
· When you call the number that they provide, you hear a recording of PSE’s actual phone announcement that you would hear if you called PSE directly.
· Victims are told to go to a local drug store and load the payment on a pre-paid card.
· If you listen carefully, you can hear other scammers in the room typing on their keyboards.
· Victims are told that their electricity will be cut off within minutes.
If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from PSE hang up. Remember, if you are late in your payments with a utility, you will be notified by snail mail and it will take several weeks and notifications before a utility can cut off service to you. If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from PSE or any other utility, do not use the phone number that the caller provides. Call the number provided on the utility’s monthly bill, or look up the utility’s web site with a Google or Bing search.
PSE received 47 complaints about this scam yesterday. A dramatic increase in the number of daily scam complaints.
Look at the KIRO video that was broadcast tonight.
KIRO TV/Jesse Jones: