SCAM ALERT: Residents reporting of scammer imitating City Light collector

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The Burien Police Department on Monday released the following warning about a telephone scam being perpetrated on area residents:

‘Tis the season’ for new and not so inventive scams to be attempted in our community. The latest is from a very astute resident who received the following phone call:

“Seattle City Light is going to install a GPS chip in the meter and they need a $500 deposit.”

This is just a reminder that there are scammers posing as legitimate companies and organizations trying to steal your money. A simple rule is to never provide personal or payment information over the phone. Ask for a name and phone number, then verify the company or organization through an internet search or published phone number. If a payment is due, they will have proper and secure ways to make those payments. If it is a scam, call the police and report it.

Here’s more from City Light:

Seattle City Light is warning its customers to guard against con artists pretending to be utility bill collectors.

City Light has received more than a dozen reports of attempted fraud this week alone.

Customers reported receiving phone calls from someone who claims to represent the utility. The caller fraudulently claims the customer’s account is overdue and threatens to cut off power unless payment is made immediately over the phone.

“Protect yourself against this scam,” Customer Care Director Kelly Enright said. “Seattle City Light will never demand immediate payment over the phone. If you get a call like this, try to get contact information from the caller, then hang up and call the police and City Light so we can try to put these con artists out of business.”

The recent rise in scam activity follows last month’s consumer alert from Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson warning against an email phishing scam that is disguised as a utility bill.

Here are some tips to avoid being scammed:

Never give out personal or financial information to anyone who emails or calls you.

Hover over the reply address or links in any email message without clicking to see if it includes Seattle City Light’s domain name.

If you are concerned about a phone call, an email notice or the status of your account, contact City Light directly for assistance at (206) 684-3000.

Additional internet safety tips are available from the Attorney General’s website.

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