Originally Published: October 27, 2016 6 a.m.
Arizona Public Service has issued a warning about a new scam where criminals masquerading as APS employees are calling customers demanding immediate payment of their electric bill under the threat of having their power turned off.
Potential victims are instructed to purchase prepaid cards in a specific amount, and then call a special number to make the payment.
In some instances, the call back number goes to an automated phone system that acts and sounds like the actual APS Customer Care Center.
While it is impossible to know how many customers have been targeted or have fallen for the scam, APS security has received reports of more than 90 incidents across the state in the past 10 days.
Arizona Public Service encourages customers who have been targeted to report the incident to local law enforcement along with APS at 602-371-7171 or 800-240-2014 (outside metro-Phoenix).
To keep customers from becoming a victim of consumer scams, APS provides the following guidance:
APS never requires payment via a prepaid card.
The only valid phone numbers to call the APS Customer Care Center are listed on customer bills and at aps.com.
If there is ever a question about the validity of an email, website or person claiming to be an APS representative, call the APS Customer Care Center immediately at 602-371-7171 to verify this information.
Recognize the signs of a phishing email: mismatched fonts, missing hyperlinks, improper grammar and misspellings.
Never share credit card information with an unverified source. Customers who pay by credit card at aps.com will be directed to the KUBRA EZ-Pay website, which asks them to enter a “captcha” validation code. A “captcha” typically uses a set of letters and numbers that the user is required to manually retype and submit. Any other credit card payment site is fraudulent and should not be used.