Spike in phony utility calls reported this week as scammers request payment in money vouchers
Release Date: 6/26/2019
HONOLULU, June 26, 2019 – Phone scammers are targeting Hawaiian Electric Company customers, directing them to make GObank payments at a convenience store to pay their "overdue" bills. Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light are again warning customers to "Just Hang Up!" on scammers.
Hawaiian Electric received more than 40 scam reports so far today from a mix of customers – commercial, residential and even a church. The robocalls display "Hawaiian Electric" in the caller ID and the company's customer service number, but don't be fooled.
The recording tells customers to pay their "overdue" bill within 30 minutes or risk disconnection; it also provides an 877 number. When called, the scammer who picks up directs the customer to purchase a GObank voucher at a convenience store. GObank features online checking accounts and consumers can make deposits to accounts at participating retailers.
The companies do not ask for nor do they accept GObank payments.
Customers need to be alert and recognize scams, especially when criminals threaten to disconnect service unless a payment is made.
The companies offer the following tips:
- If the caller says your utility account is delinquent and threatens to shut off service immediately unless payment is made, it's a scam.
- If someone calls from a utility demanding immediate payment over the phone, via money transfer, prepaid debit cards or by Bitcoin, it's a scam.
- If the caller asks to meet the customer in person to pick up a payment, it's a scam.
Go to www.hawaiianelectric.com/stopscams for more information.