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​​november 16, 2014
 
aps joins other utilities to warn customers about scams as part of inaugural "utilities united against scams" day
PHOENIX – Today marks the first Utilities United Against Scams Day, when gas, electric and water utilities across the nation are coming together to warn customers about the continued threat of consumer scams.
 
“APS customers are often targeted by criminals looking to take advantage of our fundamental need for electricity to power our lives,” said Stacy Derstine, APS Vice President of Customer Service and Chief Customer Officer. “These criminals can be very convincing and often target those who are most vulnerable, including small-business owners, seniors and non-native English speakers.”
 
Most utility scams involve criminals posing as electric, natural gas or water provider employees – either in-person, over the phone or online – and demanding immediate payment via cash or reloadable debit cards while falsely threatening to disconnect the customer’s service.  Customers who believe they have been targeted by scammers impersonating an APS employee should follow these tips:
 
  • Always decline to pay any caller or visitor claiming to be an APS representative. These callers typically ask for a prepaid card, such as a Green Dot card, a wire transfer or similar form of payment. The most nefarious of these callers often bring an intermediary onto the call to help execute the transaction.
  • Hang up the phone or close the door. Then call our customer service office at (602) 371-7171.
  • Ignore suspicious requests for personal information such as bank account numbers, usernames and passwords, credit card numbers or Social Security numbers.
  • Delete all emails that demand immediate payment or personal information or are from a company that is not APS.
  • Contact local police through the non-emergency telephone number or contact the Federal Trade Commission: https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/
 
UUAS is a collaborative effort among the electric, gas and water utility industries to help prevent utility service fraud through education, awareness and customer advocacy initiatives. A primary goal of this collective effort is to help customers learn how to identify and avoid utility-related scams.
 
“APS works with local and national law enforcement to monitor, track and, when possible, prosecute those responsible for committing these types of crimes against our customers,” said Bob Parrish, Director of Enterprise Security for APS.
 
APS serves about 2.7 million people in 11 of Arizona’s 15 counties, and is the Southwest’s foremost producer of clean, safe and reliable electricity. Using a balanced energy mix that is nearly 50 percent carbon-free, APS has one of the country’s most substantial renewable energy portfolios, and owns and operates the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, the country’s top power producer and largest producer of carbon-free energy. The company is also a proven leader in introducing technology and services that offer customers choice and control over their energy consumption. With headquarters in Phoenix, APS is the principal subsidiary of Pinnacle West Capital Corp. (NYSE: PNW).​​​ 
“These criminals can be very convincing and often target those who are most vulnerable, including small-business owners, seniors and non-native English speakers.”​
 
Stacy Derstine - APS Vice President of Customer Service and Chief Customer Officer