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Scammers are Posing as Your Utility. Here’s How You Can Spot a Scam.

You may have noticed an increase in scammer phone calls and text messages. Their methods continue to advance and target seemingly everyone, including utility customers. They are even taking advantage of the heightened stress caused by the pandemic to demand financial and personal information in addition to threatening to shut off your utilities and power.  

Here are a few tips to help you spot a potential scam and what you can do to make sure you and your family don’t fall victim to these schemes.  

Scammers may:  

  • Pose as your utility provider (City Light or SPU) saying they are an employee of these agencies and contact you by phone  
  • Threaten to shut off your water, waste collection services, or power if payment isn’t made immediately
  • Pressure you to obtain pre-paid credit cards or third-party digital apps to make immediate payments  
  • Target businesses, customers with limited English proficiency, and elderly customers.  
  • Use phone numbers closely resembling a Seattle Public Utilities, City Light, or City of Seattle number

SPU and City Light will:

  • Work with customers who are behind on payments to find a solution
  • Never demand immediate payment over the phone
  • Never pressure customers to obtain pre-paid credit cards to make immediate payments
  • Never threaten customers or use aggressive language

If someone calls you demanding payment, rather than seeking to work with you to establish a payment plan, that person is a scammer. Hang up on them right away and call (206) 684-3000 to report it. Thank you for working for us to end the threat of scammers in our community!