Scammers have been using the phone and email to try to get personal information and steal from our customers, often claiming to be the PUD or another agency to get people to trust them. If at any time you are unsure if a call is from us, HANG UP and call our number back. Even if we are the ones calling, we don’t mind if you hang up on us and call us back just to be sure. Here are a few examples of scams we have heard reported:
- Most frequent: Scammers claim to be the PUD, demanding payment over the phone and threatening to shut off power immediately if customers do not comply. We would NEVER do this. We sometimes call our customers to ask them to set up a payment arrangement or to let them know that disconnection could be ahead, but we direct our customers to a separate secure phoneline or set up some other arrangement.
- Scammers tell customers that they have overpaid or have earned a credit on their account, and the scammers request bank account information for reimbursement. Again, we would never do this. If you have overpaid, we would leave a credit on your bill and, if need be, send you a check.
- Sometimes scammers "spoof" PUD numbers - meaning it comes up on your caller ID that it is from the Okanogan PUD, but it is not.
- We have seen fake loan offers claiming to be from the PUD or administered by the PUD, but we do not have a loan program (we did a few years ago).
- Some have seen fake prize drawings asking for personal info to enter to win, claiming to be from the PUD (we do have online drawings once per year, but we never ask for more than name and phone number, and we will let you know when we do that through other methods as well!).
- There are also reports of false claims regarding solar panel/production incentives or rebates - some states/utilities have these, but not ours. Make sure to do lots of research before purchasing and installing solar panels, including calling us for the latest policies and procedures.
Any time you hear about a possible scam, please contact our office. We can confirm for you whether it is real, and direct you to other resources for more information if you need it. Whether it is in the mail, email, phone, text, etc., if it doesn't feel quite right, it probably isn't. Please contact us! 800-922-7011 or 509-422-3310