The Los Angeles Department of Water and Energy was warning its customers and residents of the city that scammers have been making calls and demanding payments in an effort to get personal information out of residents.
According to the LADWP, scammers call potential victims and try to sell products, or demand the payment of nonexistent bills. If people refuse to make the payments that they demand, they threaten to suspend the or close their accounts.
The scammers, according to the LADWP, use sophisticated technology to mimic phone numbers so they appear to come from a reliable source. They have even duplicated a recording of the local public service agencies to convince potential victims.
To avoid falling victim to these scammers, the LADWP reminds Angelenos that they never:
- Ask for a credit card to make a payment
- Accept pre-paid cards (for example, Green Dot) as a payment
- Call customers to threaten them with the immediate disconnection of their water or electricity service in exchange for a telephone payment
If you receive a call that you are not sure about, the LADWP advises not to provide personal information, such as a credit card or bank account number. In case a person contacts you pretending to be a LAWDP employee, hang up and call immediately at 1-800-342-5397.
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For information on how to protect yourself from possible scams, you can visit www.UtilitiesUnited.org.