SCAM ALERT! Protect Yourself From Fraud During COVID-19

COVID-19 Update: During this public health crisis, there may be an increase in scam attempts. Remember that PWP has suspended all utility shutoffs and will NOT call customers demanding payment. Please be vigilant.

Criminals have been known to use various scams to steal bill payments and identity information from utility customers.  Watch this video, and continue reading for details on how to protect yourself from scammers.

Recent Fraud Attempts 

Here is a list of the most recent PWP fraud attempts, as reported by our customers. Share this information with other PWP customers to prevent other possible victims from falling prey to these scammers:

  • June 1, 2021 - Scammers are spoofing PWP’s Customer Service phone number, and texting customers from 443-955-5612 with a “Wyre” purchase code.
  • May 18, 2021 - Scammers are spoofing PWP's Customer Service phone number to target customers.
  • May 12, 2021 - Scammers are spoofing PWP's Utility Services Planning phone number, and threatening customers with utility shut-off if they don't make payment in the next 30 minutes by calling 866-616-1118.
  • March 16, 2021 - Scammers are calling from the phone number 213-270-5686, threatening customers and instructing them to call back at 800-546-9096.
  • October 21, 2020 - Scammers are calling from the phone numbers 424-367-7195, 424-672-1966 and 626-901-3560; and are threatening to shut off customers unless they make a payment by pressing 1 during the automated phone call.
  • July 30, 2020 - Scammers are calling from the phone numbers 626-398-7139 and 626-390-4854, and are threatening to shut off customers unless they make a payment by calling 800-628-4316 ext 2312. Customers are being instructed to pay cash by using Money Pak/Express Payment Card.
  • Scammers requesting payment in the form of a grocery store gift cards/debit cards and threatening utility shut-offs. These callers are spoofing City phone numbers, but leaving the call-back numbers of 800.994.2703 and 800.791.3487.
  • A fraudulent caller identifying themselves as "The Business Center" is instructing customers to call 800.506.0338 in order to make payments. PWP will not contact customers from an "800" area code.
  • Customers have reported that scammers contacted them from 800.401.3978 and 866.815.3032 demanding payment and threatening to shut off services unless immediate payment is made.
  • An unidentified caller claiming to be from PWP attempts to identify who they are speaking to. Once the customer identifies themselves, the caller hangs up.
  • Customers have reported that scammers contacted them from 800.309.0160 and directed them to pay a large bill of over $1,500 within 30 minutes or face shut off.
  • A scammer is using spoofing technology to make PWP's Customer Service number, 626.744.4005, appear as their contact information.

Common Scams

  • Phone calls, home visits and online solicitations promoting government utility assistance programs and that ask for social security or banking information
  • Phone calls or home visits from someone posing as a PWP representative who demands payment and threatens to turn off water or electric service.
  • Unscheduled home visits from scammers posing as PWP meter readers/inspectors or posing as contractors offering home energy audit services.

If you are a victim of fraud and have made payment to another entity under false pretenses, please contact the Federal Trade Commission and report the incident.

PWP Employees vs. Scammers

PWP does not notify customers of their account status by phone. Customers with delinquent accounts will receive a “Final Notice” and “Disconnect Notice” from PWP by U.S. Mail notifying them of their account status. Delinquent payments must be made in person at the City Hall Municipal Services counter, online via customer login, or by phone at 626.744.4005.

PWP employees will always wear a visible picture ID, with the city seal and an employee number, and have their supervisor’s phone number on hand. Always look for an official city vehicle outside. PWP employees never use personal vehicles to make service calls.

Outside contractors hired by PWP will have a badge that identifies them as a PWP contractor. Contractors working with our Home Improvement Program or the SoCalGas®  Energy Savings Assistance Program will always schedule home visits with the customer before visiting. Periodically, however, PWP may run a program that uses contractors to give information to customers door-to-door. Please call 626-744-4005 to verify they are working with the utility.

Our meter readers and water quality staff generally don’t need to go inside your home, unless your meter is located in a service porch area or you’ve specifically requested an interior inspection.