CrimeStoppers and Honolulu police warn Hawaiian Electric Co. customers of a scam where a caller threatens a customer that their electricity will be shut off if immediate payment is not made.
Police received reports by residents who received a call from someone purporting to be a HECO employee and stating the customer’s electricity bill has not been made and threatened to shut down service.
In one case, a customer provided credit card information over the phone to make what the customer thought was a payment. Shortly after, the customer discovered fraudulent charges on the card.
HECO said they will never call a customer to request a payment over the phone or threaten to shut off service. If you receive such a call, the company urges customers to hang up and instead dial the customer service number listed on your bill or on the HECO website.
Also, do not call the number on your caller ID as this will lead you back to the scammer.
The following are additional tips to avoid phone and email scams:
>>If a caller says their from a utility company and demands immediate payment over the phone via money transfer, prepaid debit cards or by Bitcoin, it’s a scam.
>> If the caller asks to meet the customer to pick up the payment, it’s a scam.
>> If you receive an email from your utility urging you to click on an embedded link or attachment to resolve a utility issue or pay a bill, it is likely a scam.
>> If a utility worker arrives at your home or business, check whether the person is wearing official attire with a company logo, driving a properly labeled vehicle and carrying company identification. You may also call the utility’s customer service center to confirm the worker’s identification.