FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jul 2 2015 12:00:00:000AM
News Media Contact: Joseph Barrios, (520) 884-3725, firstname.lastname@example.org
Fraud Alert: Beware of Ongoing Scams Targeting TEP Customers
Tucson, Ariz. — Tucson Electric Power (TEP) is reminding customers to be wary of ongoing phone scams involving callers who falsely claim to work for the company.
More than 100 residential and commercial customers have reported receiving such calls this year. In most cases, callers claiming to be TEP employees tell customers their electric service is in danger of being shut off because of unpaid bills or because their electric meter needs to be replaced.
The callers then instruct customers to make payment over the phone with a pre-paid money card to avoid having their power shut off. Recently, some customers have reported receiving text messages with similar demands for immediate payment.
Customers who receive such phone calls should simply hang up, while those who receive such text messages should simply delete them. TEP does not employ such methods to collect payments. TEP only contacts customers by phone with automated bill payment reminders as a courtesy. Also, the company never urges customers to purchase pre-paid money cards to pay a monthly bill. A complete list of legitimate payment methods, including payment online and by phone, is available at tep.com.
Customers who receive phone calls or text messages like these are encouraged to contact the Arizona Attorney General’s Tucson office at (520) 628-6504 or to file a consumer complaint at azag.gov. The Attorney General’s office seeks to protect the public and can take legal action in situations that involve violations of state and federal consumer protection laws.
Electric utilities across the country have received reports about these kinds of phone scams over the past few years. Similarly, law enforcement and other government agencies have recently reported that phone scammers are also impersonating employees from the Pima County Sheriff’s Department, the City of Tucson Water Department, Pima County Superior Court, the Arizona Attorney General’s office and the Internal Revenue Service.
Customers with questions about their bill or information about the issues described above, or who want to pay their bills by phoe, can call TEP’s Customer Care team at (520) 623-7711.
Tucson Electric Power provides safe, reliable electric service to approximately 414,000 customers in southern Arizona. For more information, visit tep.com.