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Hawaiian Electric warns of scammers requesting bill payment

The Maui News

Scammers pretending to be with Hawaiian Electric are threatening to disconnect customers’ electric service unless “overdue” bills are cleared with prepaid debit cards, the company warned.

While the volume of scam reports has not spiked, scammers are employing new tricks, Hawaiian Electric said.

In one call, the scammer advised a customer to purchase MoneyPak cards at a local convenience store. The scammer warned against telling the cashier that the card was being purchased to pay a utility bill, advising the customer to instead cite “personal reasons.”

Scammers have figured out that store clerks are now trained to intervene if the customer says they’re purchasing cards to pay a utility bill, and employees have helped many potential victims avoid being conned out of their money, Hawaiian Electric said. In the recent case, the scammer warned the customer that a $50 fee would be charged if he told the clerk that it would be used to pay a utility bill.

In another instance, the scammer pretended to be a Hawaiian Electric executive as he attempted to get a customer to pay. One business recently paid thousands of dollars to a scammer using MoneyPak cards.

Hawaiian Electric reminded customers that it does not accept payment via the Cash app, bitcoin, gift cards or prepaid debit cards. For a list of acceptable forms of payment, visit www.hawaiianelectric.com/customer-service/customer-and-payment-centers.

While the moratorium on disconnections for nonpayment ends May 31, it won’t trigger immediate disconnections, Hawaiian Electric said. Customers having difficulty paying their bill can submit a payment arrangement request to ensure uninterrupted service at hawaiianelectric.com/paymentarrangement.

Calls or other communications threatening immediate disconnections are scams and can be reported to Hawaiian Electric via www.hawaiianelectric.com/billing-and-payment/fraud-prevention/fraudulent-activity-report-form.

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