For the second year, El Paso Electric (EPE) teams up with El Paso Water and Texas Gas Service to raise awareness and educate customers on scams through the third annual Utility Scam Awareness Week initiative. Initiated by the Utilities United Against Scams, or UUAS, the week-long advocacy and awareness campaign focuses on educating customers of the tactics scammers use to steal their money.
“Any scam can be extremely harmful financially to customers, and we find that each year utility scams become more sophisticated, increasingly common and persistent in their tactics,” states Eddie Gutierrez, EPE Vice President of Strategic Communications, Customer and Community Engagement. “Part of our core mission in providing safe and reliable sources of power includes empowering customers with the tools necessary to quickly spot and report possible scams.”
Scammers typically utilize phone, online, text and in-person forms of communication to target utility customers. Scammers can pose as electric, water or natural gas company employees, or third-party representatives for a utility, and usually threaten customers with service disconnection if they do not immediately make payment via a prepared debit card or other non-traceable forms of payment.
“EPWater employees are always in uniform and in utility marked vehicles when they visit your home. We will never demand entrance and we will not ask for your social security number,” said El Paso Water Vice President of Strategic, Financial and Management Services Marcela Navarrete.
Signs of Potential Scam Activity:
How Customers Can Protect Themselves:
Important customer service contact numbers:
El Paso Electric
Texas (915) 543-5970
New Mexico (575) 526-5555
El Paso Water
Texas Gas Service
Customers who suspect that they have been victims of fraud, or who feel threatened during contact with one of these scammers, should contact local law enforcement authorities. The Federal Trade Commission’s website is also a good source of information about how to protect personal information.
About Utilities United Against Scams
Utilities United Against Scams is a consortium of over 100 U.S. and Canadian electric, water and natural gas utilities, working together to educate consumer about utility-related scams. Visit www.utilitiesunited.orgfor more information and tips about how to protect yourself from scams or follow along on social media: Twitter @U_U_A_S and Facebook @UtilitiesUnited.