PPL Electric Utilities has received more than 70 scam reports this month and is sharing the information with law enforcement, including the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office.
"We're in contact with law enforcement at all levels, providing information on scam attempts against PPL Electric Utilities customers," said Joann Kramer, senior manager of Customer Operations for the utility. "The majority of scam attempts are unsuccessful, but unfortunately, that's not always the case."
Many of the scam calls claim an overdue balance and threaten to shut off power unless an immediate payment is made through a prepaid debit card.
"There are two things for PPL Electric Utilities customers to know. First, we always send a letter prior to calling to discuss payment of an overdue electric bill. Second, we don't accept any form of prepaid debit card for bill payments," Kramer said.
Service shutoffs are always a last resort for customers with overdue balances, Kramer said.
"We do all we can to work with customers to help them maintain uninterrupted service," she said. "For those who qualify, there can be payment agreements, payment assistance, and more."
Scammers are targeting both residential and business customers.
There are a few simple rules that can help customers to be more scam-resistant:
Ÿ Know your account status and balance. You can check it at pplelectric.com.
Ÿ Don't fall for anyone demanding a prepaid debit card. We don't accept any kind of prepaid card as payment for your bill.
Ÿ Don't give out any personal information, including credit card or bank information.
Ÿ If you have ANY doubt about a caller claiming to represent PPL Electric Utilities, hang up and call us at 1-800-DIAL-PPL (1-800-342-5775).
"The best defense against these scam artists is to be informed," Kramer said.