Warning: Beware of Scammers Targeting SnoPUD Customers

According to a press release by the Snohomish County PUD from Sept. 30, 2020, be on the lookout for scammers who have been targeting SnoPUD customers in recent days. 

The PUD has received multiple reports of the scammers using phone calls, mailers, text messages or door-to-door visits to homes and businesses. “Common techniques include claiming bills are delinquent, that special funding is available or that personal information on a customer’s account is incorrect or out of date,” said Snohomish County PR and Media Liaison, Aaron Swaney. “Scammers will often ask for immediate payment and sensitive personal or financial account information, oven threatening immediate disconnection,” he continued.

If you or someone you know receives a call from Snohomish County PUD that you are unsure about, call SnoPUD at 425-783-1000 to verify the information. 

The release warned of scammers also using SnoPUD logos and spoofing SnoPUD phone numbers in an attempt to seem legitimate. Here are seven tips the SnoPUD says you should use to determine if a call or visit from a SnoPUD employee is official. 

  1. Scammers often threaten immediate disconnections. Currently due to the pandemic, the SnoPUD has paused disconnections for non-payments and late fees.
  2. The SnoPUD will never call a customer and threaten to disconnect their power in 30 minutes if the customer doesn’t send immediate payment.
  3. The SnoPUD does not collect payments at customers’ homes or businesses.
  4. The SnoPUD never asks customers for credit card numbers for payment.
  5. The SnoPUD never asks to be paid via gift card or “green dot”/reload cards.
  6. SnoPUD employees visiting a customer’s home or business will always have a SnoPUD identification badge with a photo, first name and a SnoPUD logo. To verify, customers should ask to see it.
  7. Scammers often target senior citizens or those not fluent in English. The SnoPUD encourages anyone who receives a call from SnoPUD to verify the call before taking any action. Call 425-783-1000 to verify any SnoPUD call. 

Because of the current time of need, some scammers are also promising money to help pay customers or businesses electric and water bills. Please do not listen to them.

 If you are in need of assistance, the SnoPUD offers an Income Qualified Assistance Program that provides relief to customers in need. Call SnoPUD’s Customer Service at 425-783-1000 or go to www.snopud.com/discount for help.

Daniel Albert is an award-winning journalist studying Integrated Strategic Communications at the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University.