Tucson Electric Power warns customers of collection scams
Tucson Electric Power is reminding customers to protect themselves from scammers who impersonate TEP employees while trying to steal money or personal information using phone calls, text messages, letters and visits.
More than 1,700 TEP customers have reported being targeted this year by scammers.
TEP only contacts customers by phone with automated bill payment reminders as a courtesy, and never demands immediate payment.
Most frequently, TEP customers report receiving a phone call from someone who claims to be a TEP employee and threatens to disconnect service for unpaid bills or damaged electric meters. Scammers often instruct customers to make payment over the phone with a pre-paid money card within a short amount of time – often an hour or less – to avoid shutoff. Callers may use an angry or urgent tone of voice to pressure customers into making a payment. Other tactics used by scammers include:
TEP doesn't engage in high-pressure tactics to collect a payment and customers are urged to follow a few rules.
TEP has joined more than 150 other electric, gas and water utilities in North America in an awareness campaign designed to help customers recognize suspicious, high-pressure tactics used in ongoing scams.
This year, TEP supported an effort by the Arizona Attorney General’s office and the Arizona Food Marketing Alliance to combat utility gift card scams across the state. Warning signs prompting customers to consider why they have been instructed to buy a prepaid card are installed at more than 1,200 grocery and convenience stores throughout Arizona.
Also, all TEP employees who seek required access to your home or property are required to show ID's if asked. Look for safety equipment and trucks with the company logo stamped on it.
Call TEP directly at 520-623-7711 to verify the employee’s identity and reason for work in the area.