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SCAM ALERT: El Paso Electric Sees Increase in Small Businesses Being Targeted by Scammers

June 6, 2019

SCAM ALERT: El Paso Electric Sees Increase in Small Businesses Being Targeted by Scammers

Better Business Bureau helps share scam awareness tips

EL PASO, Texas – The Better Business Bureau of Paso Del Norte (BBB) and El Paso Electric Company (EPE) share an important message about scam ploys targeting small business customers. In the last week, EPE has seen an increase in scams targeting local small businesses. Small business owners are encouraged to be alert to, and suspicious of, calls claiming they have an outstanding payment on their electric utility bill. Scammers are masking calls (also called “spoofing”) to make it appear as if it was originated by EPE, as well as resembling the EPE customer service phone number. Scams reported involve an automated message or a person directing small business owners to call back a “1-800” number to make the outstanding payment.

“The Better Business Bureau acknowledges the increase in utility imposter scams in which consumers are induced to send money or divulge personal information and is pleased to support the efforts of El Paso Electric to warn consumers regarding the importance of being vigilant and recognizing potential imposters,” said Marybeth Stevens, BBB President.

EPE recommends the following tips to protect small businesses from potential scams:

  • Be suspicious of any call 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. EPE has various payment methods through authorized payment options.
  • Do not offer any confidential information unless the small business representative initiated the contact with EPE customer service.
  • Do not call the “1-800” number provided or give out any personal information as well as make any payment over the phone.
  • EPE Customer Service will never initiate a call to a consumer requesting personal information, demand payment via phone with prepaid debit cards, or ask to return a call to a number that is not affiliated with EPE.
  • EPE will never direct a consumer to an exclusive location to handle payment with a prepaid debit card.

EPE also encourages small business owners to report any possible scams to their 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.

If you have any doubt about the authenticity of a caller, hang up and call EPE directly at any of the numbers below:

  • (915) 543-5970
  • (575) 526-5555

For a complete list of EPE authorized payment options or for financial assistance, please visit www.epelectric.com.

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