PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — Portland Police are warning PGE customers of a telephone scam affecting utility users nationwide, and has cost several people hundreds of thousands of dollars.
A customer is contacted by someone claiming to be the utility company, or a collection agency working for that utility, threatening to disconnect the service if overdue bills are not paid immediately. The scam particularly targets non-native English speakers.
Customers are then asked to pay via a prepaid credit card — Green Dot, MoneyPak or Vanilla Reload — and call the canvasser back with the card number.
Once the serial number of the prepaid card is obtained, a potential scammer is able to transfer those funds into his or her own account.
PGE is reminding customers they will never be asked to pay via pre-paid credit card, and PGE employees do not accept payment via phone.