Snohomish County PUD has received multiple reports of scammers targeting customers in recent days. The PUD is warning customers about this increase as scammers attempt to take advantage during this uncertain time.
These potential scams may be committed over the phone, through mailers, via text messages or by people visiting homes or business. Common techniques include claiming bills are delinquent, that special funding is available or that personal information on a customer’s account is incorrect or out of date. Scammers will often ask for immediate payment and sensitive personal or financial account information, often threatening immediate disconnection.
PUD’s advice? Always double check. If customers receive a call from the PUD that raises doubt, they are advised to call the PUD at 425-783-1000 to verify the call.
Scammers will often spoof PUD phone numbers or use PUD logos to make their scams seem more legitimate. Here are tips on how customers can know that a call or visit from a PUD employee is official:
- Scammers often threaten immediate disconnections. Currently due to the pandemic, the PUD has paused disconnections for non-payments and late fees.
- The PUD will never call a customer and threaten to disconnect their power in 30 minutes if the customer doesn’t send immediate payment.
- The PUD does not collect payments at customers’ homes or businesses.
- The PUD never asks customers for credit card numbers for payment.
- The PUD never asks to be paid via gift card or “green dot”/reload cards.
- PUD employees visiting a customer’s home or business will always have a PUD identification badge with a photo, first name and a PUD logo. To verify, customers should ask to see it.
- Scammers often target senior citizens or those not fluent in English. The PUD encourages anyone who receives a call from the PUD to verify the call before taking any action. Call 425-783-1000 to verify any PUD call.
Customers can also thwart scammers by visiting MySnoPUD, the new and improved online PUD account management tool, and signing up. MySnoPUD gives customers 24/7 secure access to their billing, energy and water usage data and more. They can verify if their account is overdue or a payment has not been applied. They can also schedule and manage automatic payments and review their billing history. To learn more, visit www.snopud.com and click on “MySnoPUD.”
During this time of need, scammers are actively misleading customers with promises of money to help pay electric and water bills. The PUD has a robust Income Qualified Assistance Program that provides relief to customers in need. Recent changes to the program have expanded eligibility and increased discount amounts for most customers in the program.
Customers looking for help in paying their electric and water bills can call the PUD’s Customer Service at 425-783-1000. For more information on the PUD’s Income Qualified Assistance Program, customers can visit www.snopud.com/discount.