Utility scams increase during holiday season

We want to alert you to a growing wave of utility scams so you can be prepared if a scammer contacts you.

These scams increase during the holiday season. Pushy callers or visitors will try to get you to pay a supposed past due charge, or agree to a "deal," during an initial contact. SRP does not conduct business door-to-door.

Additionally, we never ask for credit card numbers over the phone, request alternative forms of payment, such as MoneyPak, or threaten immediate termination of power service. Victims of utility scams involving a MoneyPak can apply for a refund under certain conditions.

Remember, we never ask for credit card numbers over the phone, request alternative forms of payment, such as MoneyPak, or threaten immediate termination of power service. Please note: Victims of utility scams involving a MoneyPak can apply for a refund under certain conditions.

If you are suspicious of any interaction with someone claiming to be from SRP, call us at (602) 236-8888 (residential customers), or (602) 236-8833 (business customers).

See the chart below for some common scams:

What scammers do What you need to know

Customers receive telephone calls from scam artists posing as SRP employees threatening to turn off power if payment is not sent within a couple hours. Listen to a phone call of a scammer caught in action.

Scammers request payment via a prepaid card, such as a MoneyPak card, credit card or through PayPal. SRP will never request payment via these forms. Do not pay. Hang up and call SRP at (602) 236-8888 (residential) or (602) 236-8833 (business) to determine if any payment is actually due.

Scammers send emails to utility customers, requesting that they view an online bill and make a payment. Links in the email go to scam websites where hackers try to steal passwords and bank account information.

If you receive a suspicious email or text, ask yourself if there is a legitimate reason you're receiving it. Don't click on links if you're not sure who the text or email is from.

Scammers send a text message that appears to be from SRP stating that a customer's power will be turned off unless payment is received. The text message includes a fraudulent link to click to "pay your bill."

Do not click the link. SRP does not seek payment via text message. See box above.

Scammers go to customers' homes and say that payment is needed to "keep the power on" or make "repairs" to our equipment. When targeting business customers, they visit during busy times or those crucial to their operations, so business owners often to avoid having their power turned off.

If your payment is past due, we do not make in-person visits. We send out a reminder bill if the account becomes eligible for disconnection and will place an automated call that gives you the option to talk with us. Learn how to identify SRP employees. If you feel threatened, call 911.

There is also a telephone scam in which another person or company "hijacks" the telephone number of a legitimate business or person, which is what appears on the recipient's caller ID instead of the phone number the scam operator is actually using. These imposters are likely attempting to use any information they receive to make illegal purchases.

If you get a scam call, contact the Federal Communications Commission at (888) CALL-FCC (225-5322) and your local police. If you feel threatened, call 911.

Some companies call homeowners about solar energy systems, falsely stating that they are "sponsored" by SRP.

SRP does not sponsor solar companies. Thoroughly check a company's credentials before signing any agreement.

Scam operators offer cash in exchange for the chance to give a "pitch" on energy-saving programs or services that don't exist.

Unless a customer has scheduled an appointment with SRP, no SRP employee will ask to enter a customer's home. SRP does not sell products or services door to door.

Schemes involve letters containing a phony SRP check, often with the promise of money. The letter accompanying the check often will advise you to call and "verify" participation or receipt of the check. The phone number usually is an expensive per-minute ploy, placing callers on hold to collect excessive charges.

Even if the SRP logo appears authentic, know that SRP is not involved with these activities. Trying to process a check of this nature may put your financial information at risk and lead to identity theft.

Scam type and details

Telephone: Customers receive telephone calls from scam artists posing as SRP employees threatening to turn off power if payment is not sent within a couple hours.

What you need to know: Scammers request payment via a prepaid card such as a MoneyPak card, credit card or through PayPal. SRP will never request payment via these forms. Do not pay. Hang up and call SRP at (602) 236-8888 (residential customers) or (602) 236-8833 (business customers) to determine if any payment is actually due.

Email: Scammers send emails to utility customers, requesting that they view an online bill and make a payment. Links in the email go to scam websites where hackers try to steal passwords and bank account information.

What you need to know: If you receive a suspicious email or text, ask yourself if there is a legitimate reason you're receiving it. Don't click on links if you're not sure who the text or email is from.

Texting: Scammers send a text message that appears to be from SRP stating that a customer's power will be turned off unless payment is received. The text message includes a fraudulent link to click to "pay your bill."

What you need to know: Do not click the link. SRP does not seek payment via text message.

Personal visits: Scammers go to customers' homes and say that payment is needed to "keep the power on" or make "repairs" to our equipment. When targeting business customers, they visit during busy times or those crucial to their operations, so business owners often pay to avoid having their power turned off.

What you need to know: If your payment is past due, we do not make in-person visits. We send out a reminder bill if the account becomes eligible for disconnection and will place an automated call that gives you the option to talk with us. Learn how to identify SRP employees. If you feel threatened, call 911.

Caller ID spoofing: There is also a telephone scam in which another person or company "hijacks" the telephone number of a legitimate business or person, which is what appears on the recipient's caller ID instead of the phone number the scam operator is actually using.

What you need to know: If you get a scam call, contact the Federal Communications Commission (888) CALL-FCC (225-5322) and your local police. If you feel threatened, call 911.

Solar energy pitches: Some companies call homeowners about solar energy systems, falsely stating that they are "sponsored" by SRP.

What you need to know: SRP does not sponsor solar companies. Thoroughly check a company's credentials before signing any agreement.

Cash offers: Scam operators offer cash in exchange for the chance to give a "pitch" on energy-saving programs or services that don't exist.

What you need to know: Unless a customer has scheduled an appointment with SRP, no SRP employee will ask to enter a customer's home. SRP does not sell products or services door to door.

Mail fraud: Schemes involve letters containing a phony SRP check, often with the promise of money. The letter accompanying the check often will advise you to call and "verify" participation or receipt of the check. The phone number usually is an expensive per-minute ploy, placing callers on hold to collect excessive charges.

What you need to know: Even if the SRP logo appears authentic, know that SRP is not involved with these activities. Trying to process a check of this nature may put your financial information at risk and lead to identity theft.

Remember, under no circumstances does SRP make the types of calls or offers listed above, nor do we ask for these methods of payment over the phone.

For example, if your payment is past due, we send out a reminder bill if the account becomes eligible for disconnection and will place an automated call that gives you the option to talk with us.

We take your safety very seriously and have been in contact with local law enforcement agencies, the FBI, and the Arizona Attorney General's Office to let them know about these scams.

Listen to a phone scam in action:

What you can do

Here are some tips to help you protect yourself from scammers:

  • Call SRP at our Residential Contact Center, (602) 236-8888, or our Business Contact Center, (602) 236-8833, for accurate information about your account or to identify SRP employees.
  • Never give your credit or debit card number or other personal information to any caller or visitor without knowing their true identity.
  • Sign up for My Account and manage your SRP accounts online 24/7.
  • For fraud tips involving personal computing or tech support phone scams, see this page of the Microsoft website.
  • Arizona residents who believe they are a target or victim of fraud should contact the state Attorney General's Office at (602) 542-5763.

How to identify SRP employees

  • SRP employees always wear company uniforms.
  • SRP employees always wear photo I.D badges.
  • SRP employees identify themselves and the purpose of their visit.
  • SRP employees drive company vehicles permanently marked with the SRP name and logo.
  • SRP employees only enter a customer's home upon request or while on official company business.

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