Don’t Become a Victim of Fraud
April 11, 2017
Each year, millions of Americans are affected by fraudulent activity, ranging from telephone scams to credit card or identity theft. Here in Hawaii, we’ve seen an increase in the number of scams across Oahu, Maui County, and Hawaii Island, with many of the reported cases involving impersonation of our employees over the phone or in person.
“Hi, I’m John from Hawaiian Electric Companies. I’m calling to let you know you have an overdue balance on your account, which must be paid today by this time, or we will be disconnecting your service.”
Have you received a call similar to this conversation? Sometimes a personal family member or even a close friend can fall victim to fraud — it can happen to anyone at any time. Customers have reported receiving suspicious calls that look like they’re coming from us and that the callers even had some of their account information. In situations like this, these calls may seem legitimate, but remember to always exercise caution.
Don’t fall for scammers pretending to be us! We will never ask for immediate payment or demand a payment with credit card by phone. If a caller asks for large sums to be sent through a cash transfer process, don’t do it! Cash transfers are not accepted methods of payments for electric bills and are a sign that this is a suspicious call.
In another instance, a customer received a call asking for immediate payment, so the customer mentioned they would go down to one of our payment centers. The caller suggested that it would be “faster” to go through another machine, purposely redirecting our customer away from an authorized payment center. Remember, our employees will not direct you to make a payment at any location other than through our approved payment locations and methods.
In both of these situations, do not provide any personal information to the caller. Stay calm and be sure to take down any information provided by the caller and also ask for the person’s name, company and phone number and tell them you’ll call back. Immediately call our customer service staff and so we can verify and answer any questions. We’re here to help!
Scammers are becoming more sophisticated, persistent and intimidating and this is something that can affect all of us. It’s important for us to share this information with you to ensure that you feel empowered and aware so that we can help those around us to prevent situations like this from happening.
Contact our customer service staff:
· Oahu: 808–548–7311
· Maui: 808–871–9777
· Molokai / Lanai: 877–871–8461
· Hilo: 808–969–6999
· Kona: 808–329–3584
· Waimea: 808–855–4605
Find more tips on how to protect yourself and family from fraud, visit our website.