Several Phoenix-area residents say they have received called from people claiming to be power-company representatives who need to collect payment for service.
According to both utility companies, the callers tell the customers that their bills are past due and that their electricity will be shut off if the account is not paid immediately. The callers then give the customer the option to pay with a credit card while on the phone, go to a kiosk and make a payment to a specific account, or wire the money via Western Union.
The fake calls are being made to both English- and Spanish-speaking customers.
APS and SRP say their legitimate representatives will never call to request payment for a delinquent account. All notifications, including potential shut-off dates, are provided through the customer's bill. Some customers might also receive a text, an automated message or a door hanger.
In addition, field personnel cannot accept payments from customers.
While APS and SRP employees might not always wear company uniforms, both companies require their permanent staffers to carry ID. Contract workers must carry a letter of introduction from APS or SRP.
If there ever is a question about the validity of a person claiming to be an APS or SRP representative, customers are urged to ask for an employee identification number and to call the APS Customer Care Center at 602-371-7171 or the SRP Customer Services at 602-236-8888 to verify employee status.
Customers who believe they are victims of fraud should immediately call local law enforcement and the FTC at 1-877-382-4357 (reference number 401625543).