Avista’s website doesn’t just have resources for energy efficiency, or safety around electricity. It has resources about what kinds of scams are hitting its customers.
Every once in a while, when I’m scrolling through social media, I notice there is another scam alert out there, either the local news is sounding the alarm or it’s Avista.
Scammers come in all shapes and sizes and love to frighten people into giving money. But there are ways to avoid this.
Avista has a whole web page on their site dedicated to pointing out common scams and how to avoid them.
One of the most common is over the phone. Scammers often clone Avista’s phone number and call someone who lives in the area. They claim the person owes money on their account and needs to pay it right now over the phone or Avista will shut off their power. They may demand you make a payment by using a pre-paid debit card. Avista will never demand you pay them this way, nor will they ever call you to demand payment. Never give payment information over the phone to someone claiming to be Avista.
There are also scammers who lift Avista’s logo from online and put it into an email. Whenever you receive an email claiming to be from Avista, be sure to check the return address and make sure it is from Avista. When I get an email when my bill is ready, it is from firstname.lastname@example.org. The “no reply” part means that I can’t pay my bill by replying to the email—I have to actually visit the site to pay.
There are plenty of scams going around, but what should you do if someone tries to target you? Hang up immediately and make a note of the phone number it came from. Then, call Avista at (800) 227-9187. They are working to shut down these scammers so you can actually help protect someone else from a scam. Also, if you ever receive communications that appear to be from Avista but look a little bit off, be sure to call that number to confirm if it is real or not.
Avoiding getting scammed is now a part of our daily lives, but with a little diligence, we can all avoid it.
Lisa, an Avista customer, bought her 1910 house because she loved the old-world character, some of which doesn’t make her house very energy efficient. Lisa is sharing her experience on taking some simple do-it-yourself improvements to inspire others to do the same. You’ll find her stories right here every Tuesday morning.