Door-to-door scammers targeting electric utility customers - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Door-to-door scammers targeting electric utility customers

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WEST RICHLAND, WA - Benton REA wishes to warn its members and residents of the Tri-Cities to be aware of door-to-door scammers attempting to collect payment on Benton REA electric bills. It was reported that the scammers were asking residents who wanted to pay by check to leave the “pay to” area of the check blank.

Benton REA would like to remind its members that Benton REA offices in West Richland and Prosser are open five days a week where payments can be made in person with the help of a trusted Benton REA member services representative.    

Scammers are known to use many different tactics and are developing new schemes to trick utility customers into giving them money. 

If you are ever suspicious of a phone call or a visit to your home from someone claiming to represent Benton REA, immediately call Benton REA at 509-786-2913. Benton REA warns members to be careful not to fall for any scammer’s threats and to never give your financial information to anyone you do not know. Please notify your utility if you have been targeted by a scamming threat.

Here are some tips on how to protect yourself from utility scams:

•             Do not assume the name and number on your caller ID or the person knocking on your door is legitimate. Scammers may use software that allows them to display what appears to be an official number on caller IDs.

•             Never write a blank check or leave the “pay to” area of the check blank.

•             Never share your personal information, including date of birth, Social Security number or banking account information.

•             Never wire money to someone you don’t know.

•             Do not click links or call numbers in unexpected emails or texts – especially those asking for your account information.

•             Benton REA will never require its members to purchase prepaid debit cards or money orders to avoid an immediate disconnection of electric services.

•             If you receive a call or visit from someone that sounds like they may be scamming you, call the police and report the incident  and also notify your utility.

If you have been targeted by a scam of any kind, Benton REA would like to remind you to tell your family members and friends about your experience.  Share the scammers’ tactics to help raise awareness and warn others so they too will not fall into their trap. 

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