Beware of Phone Call Scams Targeting Utility Customers

November 22, 2016


IMPORTANT ALERT: Beware of Scammers!

Umatilla Electric and Hermiston Energy Services customers have reported suspicious phone calls from people claiming to be from UEC or HES and demanding immediate payment to avoid disconnection of electricity. Disconnections for non-payment are not performed outside of normal business hours. Please warn your family, friends and businesses who may be a target.

We have a process in place before disconnecting any service – you will never receive a phone call threatening immediate disconnection. If you receive a suspicious call, hang up. You are welcome to call UEC (541 567-6414) or HES (541 289-2000) directly if you are unsure about the status of your account.

IN OUR INTERACTIONS WITH MEMBERS

  • We don’t direct members to pay in one specific method — we don’t ask them to obtain a specific payment card.
  • We don’t demand payment. We accept promises to pay. We work with our members.
  • We don’t ask to meet customers offsite; we do business at our Hermiston and Boardman offices.

LATE BILL/DISCONNECTION POLICIES

In the event that a bill goes unpaid, you would not receive a disconnection call out of the blue.

If a due date is missed, the notification process includes several steps before service is disconnected.

  • A past due reminder will appear on the next bill.
  • An automated call requesting a contact to UEC or HES. The call verbiage is very generic and will not demand payment or divulge personal information.
  • A mailed notification with a final disconnection date.

IF YOU RECEIVE A SUSPICIOUS CALL

  • Be vigilant at all times that you may be the target of a fraudulent payment call.
  • Hang up the moment you become suspicious that the call may be a scam.
  • If in doubt about such a phone call, call the utility directly (UEC 541 567-6414 and HES 541 289-2000) to check on the status of your account.
  • If the call turns out to be a scam, please report it immediately to your local police agency.
  • You are welcome to notify UEC or HES of any potential scams.