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Subject:   Identity Theft Alert
For Immediate Release:   
11/15/2006  12:00:00 AM
For More Information Contact:
Identity Theft Alert
City Light customers need to be warned


SEATTLE - Seattle City Light is issuing a warning about the possibility a thief or thieves are calling customers to obtain credit card information.  The thief indicates that the customer must give them their credit card number immediately to avoid shut-off of electricity that day.  In this case, the thief indicated a customer hadn’t signed their personal check for payment of their bill and to avoid a shut-off, they needed to make a credit card payment immediately.

"That simply isn’t the way the utility contacts customers,” states Carol Dickinson, Account Services Director. “Seattle City Light does not make calls to customers asking for credit card information. If a customer hadn’t signed their personal check for payment, we would take them at their word that they intended to, process the check and forward it to their bank to be funded."  Dickinson adds that City Light has a prescribed method of notifying a customer if their power is going to be shut off and that includes at least two written warnings, asking customers to contact the utility directly to make a payment.  "Our goal is provide our customers with power – not shut them off," says Dickinson.  "The way this customer was approached and dealt with isn’t the way we do business."

All City Light customers are advised to take down the name and telephone number of anyone who calls and represents themselves as a City Light employee.  Also, before a customer provides anyone with credit information, they should call City Light at 684-3000 to verify that the request is legitimate. 

City Light warns customers that they could see more scams such as this shut-off threat as we get closer to the holidays.  Customer service representatives are available Monday – Friday from 7:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. to receive customer inquiries at 684.3000.  Also, customers can e-mail City Light at respond.scl@seattle.gov

For more information, please call Peter Clarke at (206) 684-3602.


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Seattle City Light is a publicly owned utility dedicated to exceeding our customers' expectations in producing and delivering low cost, reliable power in an environmentally responsible and safe way. We are committed to delivering the best customer service experience of any utility in the nation.

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