It's Utility Scam Awareness Week!
(November 17 - 23, 2019)

The Regulatory Commission of Alaska's Consumer Protection and Information Section cautions Alaskans about ongoing threat of utility scams. Beware of these telephone, mail, email, text, and door-to-door utility scams:

  • Disconnection Deception.  Scammers will call, email, or come to your door and threaten to disconnect your utility service if you do not pay immediately.  Another red flag is asking for payment by wire transfer or prepaid debit card. 
  • Refund Ruse.  Scammers will claim you overpaid on your utility bill and will request personal bank account information to refund your money. 
  • Vacate Your Home.  Scammers will request you leave your home for them to install meters or other equipment, leaving your property vacant and susceptible to easy break-ins.
  • Power Restoration Fee.  In the aftermath of severe storms, scammers will offer to restore your power more quickly for a fee.
  • Online Bill Pay and Text.  Unexpected emails or texts containing mock links to online bills.  If you click on the link, it can make your mobile device or desktop computer vulnerable to viruses.  Scammers use malware to steal personal information, send spam, and commit fraud.
  • Social media posts are telling customers that a charity will pay for their utility bills if the customer makes a partial payment by money transfer. According to Utilities United Against Scams (UUAS), this new scam is still under investigation by authorities, and it is unclear if the scammers are seeking money, personal identifiable information, or both.
It is important that customers call their utilities directly to check on the status of their accounts if they are unsure about the authenticity of a caller or the identity of a service worker, or if they suspect any fraudulent activity.  

To learn more about recent scams and how to recognize the warning signs, visit UUAS website and the Federal Trade Commission's website. 

Date Issued: 11/18/2019