MARCH 26, 2014

APS warns customers of fraud attempts

More than 200 customers report receiving calls this year
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APS warns its customers that it continues to receive reports of individuals falsely claiming to represent the company to attain payment for electricity consumed.

Through the middle of March this year, more than 200 APS customers have reported receiving a telephone call from an individual claiming to represent APS or make a generic reference to the “electric company,” “electric utility” or “power company.”

“Unfortunately, there are people willing to take advantage of others,” said APS Vice President and Chief Customer Officer Stacy Aguayo-Derstine. “We want to make sure our customers and members of the public are aware of this issue and that they know how they can protect themselves. The truth is anyone can be a victim.”

Here is how a typical scam works: The caller claims the customer has an overdue balance and that service will be disconnected if payment isn’t made immediately. The caller instructs the customer to place an amount of money onto a prepaid debit card – for example: Green Dot, MoneyPak or Money Card – then call the suspect back with the card account information. The suspect then deducts the money from the card.

In 2013 alone, APS received reports of more than 450 calls like the one described above.

APS does not contact customers via phone or in person to request credit card or other banking information. In the event of delinquent balance or shut-off notice, APS uses the following means of communication:
• Customer bill;
• Text message;
• Automated dialer message;
• Letter; and/or
• Door hanger left at the residence.

Customers should always use their personal APS account number when utilizing the various payment options available to them. Those options include: the APS interactive voice response system for check payments; NCO, the third-party vendor APS uses for credit card payments; payment kiosks; business offices; authorized pay stations and U.S. Mail. Payments are not accepted by field personnel.

APS representatives may not always wear uniforms with the APS logo. However, all permanent employees are required to carry identification. On occasion, the company uses contract workers who are required to carry a letter of introduction from APS.

If there ever is a question about the validity of a person claiming to be an APS representative, customers are urged to ask for an employee identification number and to call the APS Customer Care Center at 602-371-7171 to verify employee status.

If a person is misrepresenting himself/herself as an APS employee, customers should immediately call 911.

APS, Arizona's largest and longest-serving electric utility, serves more than 1.1 million customers in 11 of the state's 15 counties. With headquarters in Phoenix, APS is the largest subsidiary of Pinnacle West Capital Corporation (NYSE:PNW).

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