LOS ANGELES, CA – The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is warning residents about another phone scam, where imposters are telling customers they are past due on payments and if they don't pay they will have their services shut off.
- LADWP scam circulating
- Scammers warn residents they will shut power off
- LADWP will never call customers for past due payments
Stephen Shragg works hard for his money, so like many people, he is careful about who takes it.
"Our power was going to be cutoff at 5 that day because of delinquent payments," Shragg said.
Shragg received a threat over the phone from someone posing as a LADWP representative.
"They did ask me how much my last payment was, making me believe that they had access to my payment records," Shragg said. "I was totally up to date. There was zero money due."
Shragg didn’t remember missing a payment, but it made him think twice, so he checked again online.
"We don’t want anything to do with your credit card," said Sharon Grove, one of the managers who oversees customers service at the LADWP.
They utility recently put out another warning to residents on social media sites, including Nextdoor.
"We never ask you to give us a credit card number. We never ask you to go get a cash card. If something seems weird, hang up the phone," Grove said.
However, scams evolve, especially as criminals up their game.
"Scammers have figured out a way through technology to clone a number so it appears to be us," Grove said.
The LADWP won’t call customers for past due payments and will typically receive any shutoff notices through the mail. While the utility fields more than two million calls each year, Grove says less than one percent report potential scams, but it is still something they take seriously.
"Utilities United Against Scamming, that’s a national organization of over 100 utilities, and we make sure they’re aware that a scam just hit our service territory," she said.
More people, like Shragg, are now reporting scams and by spreading the word. The LADWP says you can report any suspicious activity through their website. The utility says it responds to all emails within 24 hours or you can always call.
For more information, click here.