News

SCAM ALERT: El Paso Electric Warns Customers of a Rise in Scams

November 17, 2016

El Paso Electric (EPE) is proud to stand with its fellow electric companies, as well as utilities in the natural gas and water sectors, to observe the inaugural Utilities United Against Scams Coalition (UUAS).

Most utility scams involve criminals posing as electric, natural gas, or water provider employees—either in-person, over the phone, or online—and demanding immediate payment via cash or reloadable debit cards while falsely threatening to disconnect the customer’s service. These criminals can be very convincing and often target those who are most vulnerable, including small business owners, seniors, and non-native English speakers. However, with the right information, customers can learn to avoid and report these predatory scams.

Customers who believe they have been targeted by scammers impersonating an EPE employee should follow these tips:

  • Hang up the phone or close the door, and call our customer service office at (915) 543-5970 or (575) 526-5555.
  • Decline to pay any caller or visitor claiming to be an EPE representative using a prepaid card, such as a Green Dot card, a wire transfer, or similar forms of payment - especially those requiring an intermediary. 
  • Ignore suspicious requests for personal information such as bank account numbers, user names and passwords, credit card numbers, or Social Security numbers.
  • Delete all emails that demand immediate payment or personal information or that are from a company that is not EPE.
  • Do not sign contracts until they have been reviewed carefully. Terms and agreements are always subject to regulatory change so it is always best to contact EPE if you have any questions involving contracts that may affect your electric service.
  • Contact local police through the non-emergency telephone number or contact the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov

Additional scams involve sales calls promising programs that will eliminate your electric bill. Also, always be cautious when signing long-term sales contracts that may have hidden or escalation fees - read the fine print.

UUAS is a collaborative effort among the electric, gas, and water utility industries to help prevent utility service fraud through education, awareness, and customer advocacy.