APS warns customers about phishing scam

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By Brad Denny By Brad Denny
By Brad Denny By Brad Denny

PHOENIX (CBS 5) -- APS said scammers are targeting not only its customers, but consumers across the country.

According to APS, people are receiving emails instructing them to make a credit card payment through what appears to be a real APS website.

This kind of scam is known as phishing. The goal is to get unsuspecting consumers to share sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and even credit card details. Phishing emails are designed to trick people into thinking they are communicating with a legitimate business.

Such messages often direct targets to a website that looks nearly identical to the real one. These scams rely on the fact that consumers regularly do business online.

It's up to consumers to recognize the signs of a phishing scam and protect themselves as best they can.

To that end, APS suggests you confirm the content of any email purporting to be from the utility.

"If there is ever a question about the validity of an email, website or person claiming to be an APS representative, call the APS Customer Care Center immediately at 602-371-7171 in order to verify this information," a news release advised.

That advice goes for any company or organization with which you do business. If you're the slightest bit suspicious, contact customer service.

APS, which serves 1.2 million customers, also says consumers should be wary of emails that contain mismatched fonts, missing links, improper grammar or misspelling.

When it comes to your sharing personal information, always be leery. It is essential that you know the payment mechanism your service providers use. APS, for example, uses KUBRA EZ-Pay.

Companies will not call you and demand credit card information over the phone, nor will they have you fill out and return a form attached to an email. What's more, they will not ask you to make a payment with a refillable debit card or by wiring money.

If you choose to make payments online, make sure the site is secured. The Web address should begin with "https" rather than "http," and there should be an icon of a closed padlock in your browser's address bar.

Finally, if you receive a phishing email, report it to your local police.