TUCSON, Ariz.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--UniSource Energy Services (UES) is reminding customers to be wary of ongoing phone scams involving callers who falsely claim to work for the company.
Dozens of residential and commercial customers have reported receiving such calls this year. In most cases, callers claiming to be UES employees tell customers their electric service is in danger of being shut off because of unpaid bills or because their electric meter needs to be replaced.
The callers then instruct customers to make payment over the phone with a pre-paid money card to avoid having their power shut off. Recently, some customers have reported receiving text messages with similar demands for immediate payment.
Customers who receive such phone calls should simply hang up, while those who receive such text messages should simply delete them. UES does not employ such methods 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 at uesaz.com.
Customers who receive phone calls or text messages like these are encouraged to contact the Arizona Attorney General’s office at (800) 352-8431, or to file a consumer complaint at azag.gov. The Attorney General’s office seeks to protect the public and can take legal action in situations that involve violations of state and federal consumer protection laws.
Electric utilities and natural gas providers across the country have received reports about these kinds of phone scams over the past few years. Similarly, law enforcement and other government agencies have recently reported that phone scammers are also impersonating employees from the Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Arizona Attorney General’s office, Mohave County Superior Court and the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office.
Customers with questions about their bill or information about the issues described above, or who want to pay their bills by phone, can call UES’ Customer Care team at 877-837-4968.
UES provides electric service to approximately 93,000 customers. It also delivers natural gas to approximately 150,000 customers in northern and southern Arizona. For more information, visit uesaz.com.