Los Angeles Department of Water and Power customers have been getting mysterious phone calls, threatening to shut off their electricity unless the customer pays them.
The scammers impersonate LADWP employees, even cloning their number to appear on caller ID as an actual DWP number.
Here are some ways consumers can protect themselves against this new scam.
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Ask to call them back later. That is what LADWP customer Kellie Guinot did, and the scammers gave her a different number. When she called that number, the threats became more urgent.
Do not give out any personal information, such as your social security or bank account number, over the phone. The scammers asked Guinot for that information, and LADWP assistant general manager of customer service Sharon Grove says that should be a major red flag.
"We will not ask you for that information over the phone on an outbound call to you," Grove said.
If you are still unsure, hang up and call the LADWP directly. Grove says customers calling 1-800-DIAL-DWP are usually on hold for less than a minute.