To Combat Scammers, Pennsylvania American Water Ramps Up Public Outreach as Part of National Utility Scam Awareness Week
HERSHEY, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov 12, 2018--Pennsylvania American Water, a member of the award-winning Utilities United Against Scams (UUAS), is reinforcing efforts to remind customers of the tactics scammers use to steal money and how to guard against falling victim to impostor utility scams. The company’s customer education campaign is coordinated with Utility Scam Awareness Week to highlight “7 Scams in 7 Days” from November 11 – 17, 2018.
UUAS, a consortium of more than 100 U.S. and Canadian electric, water, and natural gas companies (and their respective trade associations), continues to raise awareness of utility scams targeting customers. The third annual Utility Scam Awareness Day is set for Wednesday, November 14, and is supported by a week-long advocacy and awareness campaign focused on exposing the tactics of scammers.
“We continue to educate our customers and the general public in an effort to protect them from utility worker imposters. That’s why it is so important for our customers to stay vigilant and know how to detect, avoid and report utility scams,” said Pennsylvania American Water Vice President of Operations Jimmy Sheridan. He noted that utility imposters struck again in recent days to gain access and rob a homeowner in northeast Pennsylvania.
UUAS and its member companies have helped to shut down more than 2,200 Toll-Free Numbers used by scammers against utility customers. The group recently was awarded the Toll-Free Industry’s Fraud Fighter Award in recognition of its advocacy and awareness campaign to stop scams that target electric, water, and natural gas company customers.
“Scammers are developing increasingly sophisticated schemes to take advantage of customers. Through the ‘7 Scams in 7 Days’ campaign, UUAS is highlighting the most common scam tactics and providing resources to help utility customers better protect themselves,” said Duke Energy’s Vice President of Customer Operations for Piedmont Natural Gas and Metering Services and UUAS Chairman Jared Lawrence.
How Customers Can Protect Themselves:
Pennsylvania American Water reminds customers that its service personnel wear uniforms, drive company-branded vehicles, and wear photo identification badges with the company’s logo. Residents are urged to take the time to ask for and examine the photo identification badge whenever an individual claiming to be a utility worker arrives at their home or business. Pennsylvania American Water does not accept payment at a customer’s house. Customers with any suspicions should call 9-1-1, or Pennsylvania American Water’s customer service center at 1-800-565-7292.
If customers suspect someone is trying to scam them, they should hang up, delete the email, or shut the door. They should then call their utility company at the number on their monthly bill or the company’s website, not the phone number the scammer provides. If customers ever feel that they are in physical danger, they should call 9-1-1.
In addition, if someone calls, texts, appears, or emails saying you have to pay your bill immediately to avoid disconnection, tell them you would like to verify that they are a legitimate utility company representative by calling a verified number for the utility company found on the company’s website or on your monthly bill. The Federal Trade Commission’s website is also a good source of information about how to protect personal information and to educate yourself on the different types of impostor scams.
Visit www.utilitiesunited.org for more information and tips about how customers can protect themselves from impostor utility scams, or follow along on social media: Twitter @U_U_A_S and Facebook @UtilitiesUnited.
Pennsylvania American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 2.4 million people. With a history dating back to 1886, American Water is the largest and most geographically diverse U.S. publicly traded water and wastewater utility company. The company employs more than 7,100 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and market-based drinking water, wastewater and other related services to an estimated 14 million people in 45 states and Ontario, Canada. American Water provides safe, clean, affordable and reliable water services to our customers to make sure we keep their lives flowing. For more information, visit amwater.com and follow American Water on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
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CONTACT: Pennsylvania American Water
Terry Maenza, 610-292-3585
KEYWORD: UNITED STATES NORTH AMERICA PENNSYLVANIA
INDUSTRY KEYWORD: WOMEN ENERGY OIL/GAS UTILITIES NATURAL RESOURCES OTHER NATURAL RESOURCES CONSUMER MEN
SOURCE: Pennsylvania American Water
Copyright Business Wire 2018.
PUB: 11/12/2018 10:58 AM/DISC: 11/12/2018 10:58 AM