HONOLULU (KHON2) — Summer is approaching and you may be cranking your A.C. more than usual as things heat up.
Before you turn to quick-fixes promising to save you money, the Better Business Bureau said to watch out for scammers posing as energy companies.
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The BBB warns they could come door-to-door, or reach out through the phone. With energy prices skyrocketing, scammers are looking for ways to lure victims in with a cheaper utility bill.
“One is, let’s do an audit of your home,” said Freitas, BBB. “‘Maybe it’s not energy efficient and we can save you some money.’ of course, that appeals to all of us. We also want to save some money and that’s one of the ways they trap us in.”
Freitas said these imposters are known to impersonate familiar companies, and could even have false identificaiton that says they’re from local utilities.
Once the fraudster gains your trust, the threats start.
“First of all, HECO doesn’t threaten,” Freitas said. “That’s not how they work. They don’t ask you to make quick decisions especially when it comes to turning off any electricity.”
HECO’s website has a list of do’s and don’ts when it comes to how they contact customers, and demanding immediate payment without a prior written notice is something they’ll never do, especially if it comes with a warning of losing your power. So the bbb says, don’t start making rash decisions.
“When it comes to money, we don’t need to do that,” she said. “And so we need to say, ‘No. Mail me some information, and let me have time to think about it.'”
So if you think you’re getting scammed through a utilility imposter, HECO recommends calling their customer sercive center through the number on your screen.
Get them to confirm whether or not the person who contacted you is really working for their company.
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A final tip from the BBB, don’t fall for emotional appeals like having your power cut or your service disconnected, especially if it’s out of the blue.