Avista is alerting customers to beware of phone calls from anyone pretending to be Avista employees. If you receive a call from someone claiming to be an Avista representative demanding immediate payment or asking for confidential information, immediately end the call. Some scammers have duplicated the Avista phone greeting and the caller ID to seem exactly like Avista.
Be aware of these red flags:
- The scammer becomes angry and tells the customer his or her account is past due and service will be disconnected if a large payment isn't made.
- The scammer instructs the customer to purchase a prepaid debit or credit card, then call back to make a utility payment.
- The scammer asks the customer for the prepaid card's receipt number and PIN, which grants access to the card's funds.
Please note that Avista will never ask or require a customer to purchase a prepaid debit card to avoid services from being disconnected. If a customer has a past due account, he or she will receive a notification in their regular monthly billing.
If you suspect someone is trying to scam you, hang up and call the local police.
If you suspect you are being scammed or have been scammed, hang up and call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233, then call Avista customer service at (800) 227-9187.
(story: Katie Karl, Content Coordinator, KHQ.com; image: KHQ.com)