East Hawaii News

Hawai’i Electric Light Warns Against Utility Impersonators

May 4, 2016, 1:42 PM HST
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Hawai'i Electric Light's Hilo office on Kilauea Avenue. File photo by Dave Smith.

Hawai’i Electric Light’s Hilo office on Kilauea Avenue. File photo by Dave Smith.

Hawai’i Electric Light is warning utility customers about an apparent telephone scam that is circulating.

Business customers on the Big Island have reportedly noted that they have received telephone calls from an out-of-state call center claiming that their electric bill is delinquent and subject to disconnection.

The customers are told that they needed to provide the last four digits of their social security number to the caller or their power would be disconnected.

Hawai’i Electric Light officials urge the public not to provide personal, confidential, or financial information to an unidentified individual, and to be caution when responding to phone calls.

Suspicious activity should be reported to the Hawai’i Police Department.

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Hawai’i Electric Light says that customers who wish to pay their electric bills in person can visit any of the company’s service offices, or conduct official walk-in payments at First Hawaiian Bank, Foodland, Kmart, Sack-N-Save, Safeway, Wal-Mart, or Western Union.

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In addition, Hawai’i Electric Light offers the following tips:

  • Be careful when taking calls from an unidentified phone number; phone scammers will want to remain anonymous.
  • Technology has advanced allowing people to mask the actual phone number they are calling from.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions; get their name, phone number and company name.
  • Utility employees would not direct you to make a payment at any location other than their customer service offices or the official walk-in payment locations.
  • Utility employees would never ask you to provide your social security number or similar personal identification information over the phone.
  • When in doubt, hang up and call Hawai’i Electric’s customer service office in Hilo at 969-6999, Kona at 329-3584, or Waimea 885-4605.

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