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Hawaiian Electric customers targeted in elaborate scams
Scammers contact real estate agents, threaten to shut off power at listings
Release Date: 10/21/2021
HONOLULU, Oct. 21, 2021 – Scammers are using more elaborate schemes to steal money from Hawaiian Electric customers – but don’t become a victim! In some recent cases, scammers have contacted real estate agents and threatened to immediately shut off power to their listing if payment was not made.
Customers are reminded that Hawaiian Electric will never threaten immediate disconnection. During the pandemic, past-due customers receive mailed payment reminders, courtesy calls, email and other communications before any disconnection notice is sent.
In recent fraud cases, the scammers provided real estate agents a phony Hawaiian Electric contact number to give to their client. One customer called and was told to pay more than $800 or face disconnection. The customer spoke to an “agent” and “accountant,” and also got an email with a Hawaiian Electric logo and a QR code to make payment.
When the customer said payment would be made on Hawaiian Electric’s website, the scammer asked for a wire transfer. That raised a red flag and the customer contacted Hawaiian Electric.
Hawaiian Electric does not request wire transfers, prepaid debit cards, gift cards or bitcoin to pay bills. For a list of the company’s authorized payment methods, go to hawaiianelectric.com/paymentoptions.
Customers should also be vigilant when opening Hawaiian Electric emails. While the company does send email with payment reminders or company news, it will never ask for credit card numbers or other personal information.
In one recent scam attempt, a business received what looked like a legitimate email using the name of an actual Hawaiian Electric employee. The fake email alerted the customer that the company had changed its electronic banking information. However, the business contacted Hawaiian Electric to confirm and learned it was a scam.
Customers who receive similar emails or suspect a scam should report it to customer service or file a fraud report online at hawaiianelectric.com/stopscams.