Beware of Con Artists Posing as Utility Bill Collectors

Seattle City Light reminds its customers to beware of con artists who pose as utility bill collectors.

A business owner was victimized this week by the phone scam in which a caller claims an electricity bill has not been paid and threatens to cut off power within the hour if the customer does not make an immediate payment. Con artists have been directing people to obtain pre-paid debit cards for these swindles because they lack the fraud protections that most credit cards or bank debit cards provide.

“It’s despicable that scammers use the threat of cutting off electric service to steal money,” City Light Customer Care Director Kelly Enright said. “We want our customers to know about these scams so they can protect themselves from becoming the next victim.”

Scams like this have been tried for years. Seattle City Light uses its Light Reading newsletter, Power Lines Blog and social media accounts to educate customers about these scams so they can protect themselves. If you ever receive a call like this, do not give out any personal financial information. Instead, try to get as much information about the person who is calling that you can and then contact your local police.

Anyone who ever has a question about the status of their account can call City Light at (206) 684-3000.

Seattle City Light is the 10th largest public electric utility in the United States. It has some of the lowest cost customer rates of any urban utility, providing reliable, renewable and environmentally responsible power to about 750,000 Seattle area residents. City Light has been greenhouse gas neutral since 2005, the first electric utility in the nation to achieve that distinction.