UniSource Energy Services (UES) reminds customers to protect themselves from scammers who claim to work for UES and try to solicit payments using phone calls, text messages and letters.
UES is joining utilities across North America this week in a campaign to prevent long-running scams that target customers of electric, gas and water utility service providers. Scammers have contacted dozens of UES gas and electric customers over the past year.
Here’s how the scam works: Callers who claim to work for UES attempt to steal customers’ money by threatening to disconnect service for unpaid bills or damaged electric meters. They tell customers to make payment over the phone with a pre-paid money card within a limited amount of time to avoid shut off. In some cases, callers instruct customers to bring a money order or cashier’s check to a local pharmacy. In others, scammers contact customers via text message or even registered letter.
Some scammers use ID spoofing software that disguises phone calls or text messages to appear as though they’re coming from UES. The callers may pressure customers to make large payments within a short amount of time by using an angry or urgent tone of voice.
Customers should simply hang up, delete or ignore such communications. UES does not employ the methods used by these scammers to collect payments.
UES only contacts customers by phone with automated bill payment reminders as a courtesy. Also, the company never urges customers to purchase pre-paid money cards to pay a monthly bill. A complete list of legitimate payment methods, including payment online and by phone, is available on UES’ website at uesaz.com.
Customers with questions about their bill or concerns about the issues described above are welcome to call UES’ Customer Care team at 877-837-4968.