RCA Consumer Advisory.

As we all continue to navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic, the Regulatory Commission of Alaska’s Consumer Protection & Information Section would like Alaskans to remember to be vigilant about phone calls, text messages, or emails from anyone who may be trying to steal money or personal information. Fraudulent activities vary from COVID-19 vaccines and benefits scheme, holiday scams, and utility impersonators.

·     Do not respond to calls or texts from unknown numbers, or any others that appear suspicious.

·     Never share your personal or financial information via email, text messages, or over the phone.

·     Be cautious if you're being pressured to share any information or make a payment immediately.  If someone is threatening to disconnect your utility service if payment is not made, requesting personal information about a payment that was not completed, or posing as a utility worker to access your home and demand payment for inspecting utility equipment, immediately contact your public utility at the phone number on your bill.
·     Scammers often spoof phone numbers to trick you into answering or responding. Remember that government agencies will never call you to ask for personal information or money.

·     Do not click any links in a text message.  If a friend sends you a text with a suspicious link that seems out of character, call them to make sure they weren't hacked.

·     Do your homework when it comes to donations.  Always check on a charity (for example, by calling or looking at its actual website) before donating.  Never donate in cash, by gift card, or by wiring. Learn more about charity scams.
·     Watch for emails claiming to be from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO) or your local government. Use sites like coronavirus.gov and usa.gov/coronavirus to get the latest information, and don’t click on links from resources you don’t know.

If you suspect a scam, please report it to the Better Business Bureau and the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Office.  If you have a complaint against a regulated public utility, please contact the RCA Consumer Protection & Information Section. Click here to learn how to file a complaint.

Date Issued: 12/18/2020