Fraud: Local phone scam reported

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

As reported to Patty Hale this morning from Jim Adam's Auto Clinic in the Ridgecrest Neighborhood.

On 4-24-2019 at 9:25am, Jim Adams Auto Clinic on 5th NE and NE 165th received a phone call from 1-800-479-47520. The caller said he was from PSE and that our service would be shut off within 30 minutes due to non-payment.

The caller said that the total we owed was $998.32 and that they could not accept card or cash payment. He advised me to go to Walgreens and purchase two MoneyPak prepaid cards in the prepaid card section. 

One was to be purchased for $500.00 and the other for $498.32. After I had those cards purchased, I was to call the mentioned phone number and enter extension #6003 for Jason Lopez and give him the barcode numbers off of the two prepaid cards so he could 'update my account information.' 

He advised me that he would call back in 35 minutes to collect that information from me and that a technician in my area would not shut off my service as soon as the account was paid. At 10:20, a "technician" named Mike Miller called and asked for the two prepaid card barcodes that I was supposed to have purchased from Walgreens.

I hung up the call without speaking to him. I have been called by PSE before and their phone number ALWAYS shows as PSE. Not an unknown 1-800 number. I was lucky to have known this was a scam from the start. PSE never outsources their customer services.

I have called the FTC and filed a claim, as well as filed a claim with PSE. I have also called the Washington State Attorney General and filed a claim. The local police forwarded me to the FTC for filing a complaint. I think I've covered all my bases, however I would like to get the word out to the surrounding area about this scam.


Anonymous,  April 25, 2019 at 11:35 AM  

I am concerned that people believe any entity would insist on payment by pre-paid cards. It must be time for a wide-spread public service campaign to remind people to pay their accounts in the usual manner, no matter how far in "arrears" the caller claims they are. Signs on busses? Billboards? Multi-language flyers in churches?

Erik White April 25, 2019 at 6:29 PM  

Got exactly the same call today 4/25/19 at work, stated that PSE was going to shut off our electricity. I almost died laughing.

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