Avista warns of scammers targeting local customers

Avista warns of scammers targeting local customers
Copyright 2019 CNN
Each year, about 24 million Americans fall victim to phone scams.

If you’ve received an odd call from “Avista,” chances are it’s a scam.

The utility company said scammers are currently targeting customers in the Inland Northwest.

Avista said the scammers are calling, emailing and, in some cases, going door-to-door. Here’s what the utility company recommends doing if you think you are a victim.

ICYMI: Scammers demanding payment to prevent service disconnection, spoofed our number, making caller ID appear legitimate. Scammers direct customers to call them back at 800-519-6558. This is not Avista. Hang up, call us, verify status of account. Visit https://t.co/W6crtOVtL8. pic.twitter.com/oisKrZTDRy

— Avista Utilities (@AvistaUtilities) October 17, 2019

Phone scams:

Hang up.

These scams typically start with the caller identifying themselves as being from Avista and warning customers that their account is past due, or there is a problem with their account and an immediate payment is needed.

Avista said these callers use high pressure tactics to tell you your power will be disconnected if a payment is not made.

Sometimes scammers will use “spoofing technology,” which can show that the call is coming from Avista, even when it is a scammer.

The best thing to do is just hang up.

Email scams:

It is easy for scammers to copy Avista’s logo and create look-alike emails.

Do not open an unfamiliar email, do not respond and do not click on any links. Avista advises to not open any attachments and do not provide any personal information.

Door-to-door scams:

If someone knocks on your door claiming to work for Avista, ask for their Avista photo ID badge. All real employees and authorized contractors are required to carry one.

You can also call Avista at 800-227-9187 to verify that person’s identify.

All in all, just be extra cautious. If you have a question, call Avista and speak to a representative or reference their website for more information on common scams.

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