TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - More than 500 customers of Tucson Electric Power have reported receiving calls or texts from someone claiming to represent the utility company and demanding immediate payment to avoid service disconnection.
Customers have reported that scammers instruct them to make a payment over the phone with a prepaid money card within a short amount of time - often an hour or less - to avoid shutoff. Some of the callers have reportedly used an angry or urgent tone to pressure the customer. Other customers have reported receiving a recorded message designed to sound as if it came from TEP.
According to TEP, its representatives never use high-pressure tactics to collect payment and advises customers to protect themselves by taking a few simple steps:
- Hang up. If you suspect you are being targeted, simply hang up the phone or delete the text or email. If you have a suspicious person at your door, you can also close the door and call 911 if you feel you are in danger.
- Do not follow instructions to buy prepaid cards. TEP lists multiple payment methods, including online or through TEP’s mobile app, on its website, TEP.com.
- Contact TEP - not the scammers. TEP’s Customer Care number is (520) 623-7711. You can check your account status at any time by calling this number. Never call a number provided by scammers.