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PUD warns of phone scam

Grays Harbor PUD officials are warning customers about a phone scam in which fraudulent callers pose as PUD employees and demand payments on overdue accounts.

According to Customer Service Manager Randy Schmidt, the utility has received several reports from businesses and individuals who have received calls from people claiming to be employees of the PUD and threatening to shut off a customer’s power if they do not immediately pay a certain amount of money.

“Customers need to beware of scams like this,” Schmidt said.

“If you receive a call demanding immediate payment, we urge you to immediately contact PUD staff to verify that the call was genuine. Under no circumstances should you make a payment of any kind to callers without first checking to see that they are legitimate representatives of the PUD who can verify your account information and exact amount owing, both current and past due.”

PUD officials said local law enforcement offices have received similar reports of callers claiming to represent television and phone providers, public utilities and magazine companies, demanding immediate payment.

Other scams include forged bills and parking tickets left on cars and in mail boxes. Recipients of such fraudulent calls and mailings are advised to first contact company officials to verify the claim and to contact the office of your local law enforcement agency.