Electricity Related Scams

Electricity Related Scams

There are many scams designed to attack utility customers. They include con artists posing as utility employees demanding payment and threatening to disconnect power, as well as marketing curious technology designed to lower utility bills.

PHONE SCAM ALERT!

If you get a call from the "PUD" or the "Power Company" and you are not expecting a call... IT MAY BE A SCAM!

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Here are some common strategies that should raise your suspicion:

  • The call may come from a non-local or blocked number.
  • The caller says that electricity will be "cut off today" if you do not pay.
  • The caller may ask for credit card, bank account, and other personal information.
  • The caller may ask that you wire money to a certain person or buy a prepaid credit card for payment.
  • The caller may also use deceptive tactics to manipulate caller ID systems to make it appear the call is coming from a utility or phone company when it is not.

THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT: If you have received a suspicious call about your electricity bill, hang up and call or visit one of PUD 3's office locations. Or you can check your account balances and make payments with PUD 3's secure online service at my.PUD3.org.

PUD 3 WILL NEVER call you to collect payment or disconnect your electrical service without sending out a past due notice and making other attempts to communicate with you directly. PUD 3 does accept credit card payments over the phone, including when making collection calls, but we will also offer alternate forms of payment.

You can also report suspicious calls or emails to the Mason County Sheriff's Office, the Washington State Attorney General’s Office or the Federal Trade Commission.

Other Electricity-Based Scams

Understanding how electricity works can be challenging to some. There’s no shortage of companies that want to take advantage of cold, unsuspecting consumers in winter months, or customers with unusually high energy bills. The swindlers are always at it, so you must remain vigilant and informed! If you know of another utility or electricity-based scam that's going around Mason County, let us know by emailing scam@masonpud3.org

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Our Spanish speaking customers also seem to be targeted by a phone scam in which the caller poses to be from the "PUD" or the "Power Company". Please help to spread the word, and as always, be careful of phone scams!

(Some of our English speaking customers have also been targeted by this same scam as mentioned above- please be careful!)

ADVERTENCIA DE ESTAFAS! Por favor, comparta esta informacion!

advertencia de estafas

Si usted recibe una llamada del “PUD” o el “Power Company” y usted no está esperando una llamada… PUEDE SER UNA ESTAFA!

Las siguientes situaciones son estrategias muy comunes

  • La llamada puede provenir de un número de larga distancia o un número privado.
  • La persona llamando dice que la electridad será “suspendida hoy” si usted no le paga.
  • La persona llamando puede solicitar su numero de tarjeta de crédito, información de su cuenta bancaria y otros datos personales.
  • La persona llamando puede pedirle que envíe dinero a una persona determinada o que usted compre una tarjeta de crédito prepagada para hacerle un pago.

ESTO ES MUY IMPORTANTE:

Si ha recibido una llamada sospechosa sobre su factura de electridad, cuelgue y llámenos, o visite una de las oficinas del PUD 3 (360-426-8255). Usted también puede revisar su cuenta y hacer pagos con el servicio en línea seguro de PUD 3 www.masonpud3.org/account

Space heaterNestled within claims to “slash utility bills,” companies market basic plug in electric space heaters as a new technology with magical performance. Often it includes a coupon or a deadline by which to secure your new heater. You’ll find a lot of trademarked fancy-words in these ads, but you’ll usually be hard pressed to find vital information such as the amount of energy the equipment uses. Call the PUD 3 conservation department to discuss your options on ways to heat your home or business at (360) 426-0777, or visit our space heater webpage

multi-layer insulation

This insulation technology doesn't seem to make a great improvement over standard insulation in Mason County's climate. There are studies that show an improvement in insulative qualities in a cooling climate (year-round hot locations), when the reflective insulation is installed properly. We have seen several cases where the installers of the Multi-Layer Insulation (MLI) have compressed the home's existing insulation during installation, which greatly reduces the insulating properties, resulting in a more poorly insulated home than when they started! Much of the advertised energy savings comes from the standard insulation which is installed in under-insulated homes in conjunction with the Multi-Layer Insulation product. Call the PUD 3 conservation department to discuss your options on ways to insulate your home or business at (360) 426-0777, or visit our insulation webpage

Fuse boxPUD 3 does not bill residential Sch 12 or small commercial Sch 20 accounts for power factor. To see if your account is being charged a power factor penalty, take a look at your monthly utility bill. It will appear near your energy and daily system charge if applicable. This is considered a scam because these companies claim to reduce your energy bill by correcting power factor, when the reality is, PUD 3 doesn't bill these residential and small commercial customers a power factor penalty!

A location will usually have a high power factor if it uses a large amount of motors, pumps, high intensity discharge lights with a ballast, or other inductive loads. If you are a Schedule 21 or 24 customer, PUD 3 will work with you to design and install appropriately sized capacitors to correct bad power factor.

Please call PUD 3's Service Engineering department at (360) 426-0888 if you have a question regarding power factor and your account.

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