Check out an editorial by EPE's Senior Vice President and Interim Chief Operating Officer Elaina L. Ball discussing the evolution of scams and what you can do to stay vigilant: "22 Years and Counting: Scam Evolution and a Band of Utilities’ Efforts to Protect Consumers"
Scams are an everyday threat and are becoming increasingly harder to spot. Always looking for new ways to deceive you, scammers are persistent and everyone is a target.
At El Paso Electric (EPE), we want to protect our customers from scams and we believe that knowing what to look for and what to do is your best defense.
Know the Signs of a Scam
Keep the following signs in mind to stay protected from potential scams.
Be aware of:
- Scammers posing as EPE employees over the phone or at your door.
- Threats and demands via phone call, text, or even in person.
- Threats to shut off your service if payment isn’t made immediately.
- Service termination calls to Residential and Small Business customers.
- Requests for payments made through prepaid debit cards.
- Requests for personal information such as Social Security Numbers.
- Promises to eliminate your electric bill.
A new way scammers are targeting you is by masking calls or text messages to appear as if it were coming from El Paso Electric. Scams reported involved an automated message directing customers to call back a 1-800 number to make an outstanding payment.
Also, be on the look out for private contractors selling products or services claiming to be associated with El Paso Electric. Some of these individuals may even resort to scare tactics, claiming the services they sell are mandated by the federal government.
Small Businesses Beware
We have also noticed an increase in scams that target local businesses. However, The Better Business Bureau of Paso del Norte is here to help share the following scam awareness tips for small business owners.
Prepaid Debit Cards
Be suspicious of any calls or text messages asking for payment, especially if they require payment with a prepaid debit card. Scammers often prefer prepaid debit cards because they are difficult to trace. We will NEVER direct our customers to an exclusive location to handle payment with a prepaid debit card. Remember that EPE has various authorized payment methods.
Requests for Personal Information
Do not offer any confidential information to any one claiming to work with or for El Paso Electric unless the small business representative initiated the contact through our customer service department.
Return Calls to 1-800 Numbers
Do not call any 1-800 number provided, give out any personal information, or make any payment over the phone.
We encourage local business owners to report any possible scams to the local authorities. Scams may also be reported to the BBB Scam Tracker at BBB.org, where people can also see trending scams targeting different regions.
Stop, Call, and Verify
We want our customers to be alert and stay informed. Remember, El Paso Electric will NEVER ask you for payment over the phone or in person.
Don’t be a victim, if you’re suspicious of a scam, STOP, CALL us at (800) 592-1634, and VERIFY.
For a complete list of EPE authorized payment options or for financial assistance in Texas and
New Mexico, please click here.
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