Bishop Police warn of phone scam

bpdPress Release – Bishop Police Department

Event: Phone Scams Regarding Power Bills.

The Bishop Police Department would like to make the public aware of a phone scam targeting the Bishop area. The press release says officers have acquired some reports of residents and local businesses receiving phone calls from a “Southern California Edison Disconnect Department” employee advising SCE will turn off your power to the business or residence.

The Police Department has been told the caller advises there is an unpaid balance on the SCE account and if the bill is not paid for, the power will be turned off in 1 hour. The caller is advising a very large amount of money is owed, but does not ask for a source of payment. It is unclear if the caller will eventually get to asking for payment information, because each reported call to us the parties hung up before the phone scammer asked.

A resident also reported when she told the caller she was not a SCE customer and that she was a Department of Water and Power Customer, the caller told her he could transfer her to that department because they were in the same building. DWP and SCE are two different entities and do not conduct business in the same offices. The number the scam caller calls from is a 619 area code, and the number can be called back. The Bishop Police Department called this number and advised them of who we were, but were hung up on. The Police Department is working on trying to track down further information regarding this scam and we have advised our local DWP and SCE companies about this current scam.

We are asking the public to be aware of this and not fall for the scam regarding your power bill. The phone scammers sound very official and convincing; please keep your personal information personal and away from potential scammers.

Thank You,

K. Coffman, Public Information Officer

 

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3 Responses to Bishop Police warn of phone scam

  1. Wayne Deja October 1, 2013 at 6:21 pm #

    Hate to say it again,but if someone calls saying you owe them a big $$ utility bill,and then states your electric will be turned off within the hour if it’s not paid….and on top of that, claiming to be a company that doesn’t even supply your residence with your power…..if you give them credit card info over the phone to pay this bill….well,you might be getting what you ask for….

     
    • sugar magnolia October 2, 2013 at 8:28 am #

      Obviously they’re betting on reaching a person who may be easily intimidated or confused. My 80 year old mother is still sharp as a tack, however, people that age still have an outdated way of thinking…for one, they always answer the phone, like it’s an obligation. I’ve tried to get my mom to screen her calls, but no go. She can’t read the caller ID for one thing.

      They prefer person to person contact, so they want to talk to these companies on the phone instead of paying the bill on-line. And they think they’re talking to someone that works at the local office of the utility company or newspaper whatever, not realizing that it’s typically someone at a call center possibly not in this country.

      Don’t be so snotty to the few that fall for this, it takes a lot of trolling to get someone to bite, but the payoff apparently is worth it so these scams keep going. It’s hard to get a person to recognize when they should no longer be able to use their credit cards. Can you imagine what that will feel like when its you?

       
  2. Steve October 1, 2013 at 9:42 pm #

    The caller ID number is 619 730 3443. Be careful out there.

     

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