Scammers take advantage of opportunities such as natural disasters to prey on the most vulnerable. They’ll take extreme measures to fool you into a false sense of security by wearing your local utilities apparel or spoofing their phone number. They may even mention that your power would proactively be shut off. We’ve had enough and we know you have too.
To help you win the battle against scams, we’ve compiled a list of common scams and ways to avoid becoming a victim.
Text - Smishing, short for short message service (SMS) phishing, is a relatively new scam that attempts to trick mobile phone users into giving scammers personal information. Smishing can be used for identity theft, via a text or SMS message. Scammers like smishing, as consumers tend to be more inclined to trust text messages. Avista will only text you if you have previously signed up to receive text messages from Avista.
Phone - The scammer instructs you to purchase a pre-paid debit or credit card – widely available at retail stores – then call them back to supposedly make a utility payment. Avista never asks for or requires a purchase of pre-paid debit card to avoid disconnection.
Door-to-door - Be alert to anyone who shows up at your home and uses high pressure tactics to demand immediate payment to avoid having your service disconnected. Scammers can try to appear legitimate by carrying a walkie-talkie and wearing a hard hat and orange vest. Avista employees and our authorized contractors, however, all carry an Avista photo ID badge.
Email - Scammers can easily lift our logo from online and create emails that look like they are from Avista, so if you do not recognize the sender's email address, take the following precautions: Do not open an unfamiliar email as it may include malicious links that go to a compromised website hosting malware - do not respond to the request - do not click on any links - do not open any attachments - do not provide any personal information.
If you are ever suspicious about any call or communication, feel free to check in with us at (800) 227-9187 and contact your local authorities.