SRP Participates in Sixth Annual Utility Scam Awareness Day on November 17
Holiday Season Is a Busy Season for Con Artists
Salt River Project (SRP) is joining Utilities United Against Scams (UUAS) once again to support International Fraud Awareness Week and recognize the sixth annual Utility Scam Awareness Day, which will take place on Wednesday, November 17.
Utility Scam Awareness Day is an advocacy and awareness campaign focused on educating customers and exposing the tactics used by scammers. This year’s theme is ‘End the Call. End the Scam.’
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, utilities have seen an increase in reported scammers who are contacting customers seeking personal and financial information and fraudulent payments.
“As a reminder, SRP will never ask for your personal information or payments using a pre-paid debit card, gift card, cryptocurrencies, or third-party digital payment mobile applications, and we will provide multiple notices and work to assist customers with payment plan options before service interruptions,” said Tim Herchold, SRP senior Customer Service analyst. “Also, as the hustle of the holidays approach, we want to remind our customers that professional scam artists often prey during hectic seasons in an attempt to swindle distracted, unsuspecting victims.”
UUAS, a consortium of nearly 150 U.S. and Canadian electric, water, and natural gas utilities and their respective trade associations, continues to create customer awareness of common scams and new scam tactics being used by utility impostors. Through its work and with the help of customer reporting, UUAS has successfully helped to take nearly 12,000 toll-free numbers used by scammers against utility customers out of operation.
“It’s perfectly acceptable for the customer to hang up the phone. The scammer’s initial goal is to pressure their targets and convince them that they work for the utility,” said UUAS Executive Director Monica Martinez. “Scammers are extremely sophisticated in their tactics, and, by simply ending the call, you can end their scam. If you are unsure, you can always call back the utility by dialing the number found on your bill or on their website, and they will provide you with the correct information.”
Here is a reminder of SRP practices and safety tips:
- Be alert: scammers call, text and email utility customers daily posing as the utility and demanding immediate payment to avoid service disconnection. SRP will never send a single notification to a customer within one hour of a service interruption or ask customers to make payments with a pre-paid debit card, gift card or any form of cryptocurrency.
- Check your mail: Past-due notices are mailed before disconnection occurs.
- If a call or email about your account seems suspicious, call SRP, and check your account online at srpnet.com/myaccount or through the SRP Power App to verify details.
- SRP does not collect payments in person.
- SRP employees only enter a customer’s home upon request or when there is a scheduled appointment for official company business.
- SRP employees will also wear a shirt with an SRP logo, carry an official badge and drive an official vehicle that is clearly marked.
- If uncomfortable, ask to see a company badge or call to find out there is an employee in the area or dispatched to a specific home. Call SRP at (602) 236-8888 (in English) or (602) 236-1111 (in Spanish). SRP’s Contact Centers are available 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.
- For more information about protecting yourself from con artists, visit www.srpnet.com/scam.
Customers who suspect that they have been victims of fraud or who feel threatened during contact with a scammer should contact SRP and law enforcement authorities. The Federal Trade Commission’s website also provides additional information about protecting personal information and other details regarding impostor scams. Visit www.utilitiesunited.org for more information and tips on how customers can protect themselves from impostor utility scams.
- For SRP scam awareness information, visit www.srpnet.com/scam or www.misrp.com/estafa.
- Visit www.utilitiesunited.org for more information and tips.
- Better Business Bureau Scam Tracker, visit www.bbb.org/scamtracker.
Utilities United Against Scams
UUAS is a consortium of more than 150 U.S. and Canadian electric, water, and natural gas utilities and their respective trade associations. UUAS is dedicated to combating impostor utility scams by providing a forum for utilities and trade associations to share data and best practices, in addition to working together to implement initiatives to inform and protect customers.
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SRP is a community-based, not-for-profit public power utility and the largest provider of electricity in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area, serving more than 1 million customers. SRP is also the metropolitan area’s largest supplier of water, delivering about 750,000 acre-feet annually to municipal, urban and agricultural water users.