Scammers have been calling Pasadena Water and Power customers and demanding immediate payment of their utility bills by use of a prepaid gift card, city officials warned Monday.

Margie Otto, of PWP, said the callers may instruct customers to go to a nearby convenience store, like Rite Aid or CVS, and purchase gift cards in order to make a payment.

Otto stressed that the utility will never call customers asking them to make payment over the phone. If a utility bill is delinquent, PWP will inform the customer by mailing a notice to the account holder address, she said. Two delinquency notifications will be sent to a customer before their electric or water service is disconnected for non-payment, Otto added.

Customers are always welcome to call the PWP Customer Service line at 626-744-4005 to make a payment. This is a secure and valid way to access your account and is not the same as a representative calling customers to demand immediate payment, Otto said.

However, Otto cautioned that in at least one case, a scammer used “spoofing technology” to make the customer service number appear as their number.

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