Hawaiian Electric Companies Warn Customers of Scams

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Scammers are targeting customers of Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawai‘i Electric Light, and the latest wave of scams is displaying the companies’ caller IDs and using automated recordings similar to those used by the utilities.

Since Monday May 14, 2018, the companies have received nearly 20 reports from customers who said they answered their phones when the utility’s caller ID was displayed. The caller then demanded immediate payment for past-due bills through prepaid debit cards. When unsuccessful at collecting, a phone number was provided to the customer for additional information. After dialing the number, the customer got an automated message similar to ones used by the companies.

However, the recording asked for immediate payment via prepaid debit cards or other means. That demand would never be included in a legitimate automated message from the utilities.

The companies remind customers of the following:

  • If you receive a call from someone or an automated recording from Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric or Hawai‘i Electric Light demanding immediate payment over the phone or via prepaid debit cards, it’s a scam.
  • If the caller says your account is delinquent and threatens to shut off your power immediately unless payment is made, it’s a scam.
  • If the caller asks to meet you to pick up a payment, it’s a scam.
  • Customers should simply hang up if they receive such a call, and then dial the customer service line that is printed on their monthly electric bills or listed on their company’s website. They should not call the number displayed on the caller ID, even if it says “HECO,” “MECO” or “HELCO.”

The scammers appear to be calling residential and business customers at random, and the majority of recent calls have been to Hawaiian Electric customers on O‘ahu. Scammers are becoming more persistent and aggressive, insisting that a bill is overdue even if the customer knows it’s been paid.

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