Ed Murray, Mayor
SUBJECT: BILL COLLECTION SCAM ARTISTS BACK AT WORK
5/6/2008 11:50:00 AM
SEATTLE - Customers Urged to Protect Credit Card Information
Seattle City Light is urging its customers to be on guard against telephone con artists posing as utility bill collectors who appear to be targeting customers with Asian surnames.
In the past few days, at least four customers reported they received phone calls from people claiming to be City Light employees. In the scam, the callers claim there is a problem processing payment of the customer's bill by check and demand credit card information to resolve the matter. Fortunately, the customers avoided becoming victims and contacted City Light to report the call. Most of the customers did take down the telephone number and the name of the individual who was making the call. City Light has notified the Police Department.
"There is no reason Seattle City Light would be calling customers in this manner," Customer Care Director Kelly Enright said. "We don’t do business that way."
City Light sends at least two written warnings to customers who are about to have their power turned off, asking them to contact the utility directly to make a payment.
City Light also would like to remind customers:
• Seattle City Light never asks customers over the telephone for credit card information to pay their bills.
• Seattle City Light does not call customers on weekends.
• Seattle City Light employees carry identification with the City Light logo and will always display it when asked.
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 customers provide any credit information, they should call City Light at 684-3000 to verify that the request is legitimate. If a customer believes he or she has been contacted by a con artist, they are urged to contact the Seattle Police Department at (206) 625-5011 to report the incident.
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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.
Seattle City Light