October 3, 2018 - We've heard from several customers in the past two days who have received a call from a company trying to sell them solar equipment. The company is claiming that we (Colorado Springs Utilities) are offering free solar. In many cases, the call even appears to be coming from us.
We do offer rebates for solar energy, however, solar is not free. We also do not install solar equipment. We recommend you research solar costs and companies before signing any contracts or paying any money.
Don’t get scammed. Beware of persons posing as our employees. A growing number of scammers are targeting our customers both in person and over the phone, demanding immediate payment of a supposedly past due amount via credit cards and prepaid cards to prevent service from being disconnected.
If you are ever suspicious of a phone call or visitor, hang up or make the person wait outside and call us at 719-448-4800 to confirm the call or visit.
See the chart below for some common scams.
An individual calls and demands that customers make a payment immediately, otherwise their service will be disconnected. The scammers demand that customers put the payment on a credit or prepaid card.
Customers may also be told to pay a deposit to upgrade their meter to a “smart”, “GPS” or “digital” meter.
We will never require customers to make payments with a credit or prepaid card, and we do not make outbound calls asking for a customer’s credit card information.
Also, we never call and demand payment for meter replacement.
There have also been reports of scammers hijacking the telephone number of a legitimate business or person. The name of the business or person appears on the recipient’s caller ID instead of the phone number the scammer is calling from. This is called “spoofing”. These scammers are likely trying to obtain personal information for fraudulent purposes.
We will never ask for your social security number on outbound calls.
If you get a call like that, you can report it to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at 1-877-382-4357 or file a complaint online.
An individual arrives unannounced and requests access to your home or business demanding immediate payment to prevent disconnection of services.
We send a Disconnect Notice followed by an automated payment reminder call.
We do not collect payments in the field in the form of cash, check or money order. Customers have the option to make a payment through KUBRA to keep services on.
What you can do to protect yourself from scammers:
- Register for My Account and manage your account online.
- If someone comes to your home or business, ask for identification. All employees carry photo identification with an I.D. number.
- Do not provide your credit or debit card number or any other personal information to any caller or visitor without knowing their true identity.
- Call our service center at 719-448-4800 or 1-800-238-5434 for accurate information about your account or to identify one of our employees.
What should you do if you receive a scam call?
If you receive a call from a number claiming to be from Colorado Springs Utilities asking for personal information, please take the following steps:
- Do NOT provide any personal information.
- Take note of what action the caller (automated or in-person) is asking you to take AND the phone number from which the call appears to originate.
- Use this information to report the scam to the FTC (1-877-382-4357). This step is important as the more complaints the FTC receives, the more likely the incident will be investigated.
- Colorado residents who believe they have been victims of a scam or want to report suspicious activity, can also file a fraud report with the Colorado Attorney General’s Office.