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Pennsylvania American Water Raises Awareness of Utility Scams During National Consumer Protection Week

Pennsylvania American Water Raises Awareness of Utility Scams During National Consumer Protection Week

 

MECHANICSBURG, Pa. (March 4, 2021) – Pennsylvania American Water announced today that its joined Utilities United Against Scams (UUAS) to recognize National Consumer Protection Week, which aims to educate customers on how they can guard against becoming victims of impostor utility scams.

As a member of UUAS —a consortium of 146 U.S. and Canadian electric, water, and natural gas utilities and their respective trade associations— Pennsylvania American Water works with regulators, law enforcement, and telecommunications and industry partners to help stop scams targeting utility customers.

“The safety of our customers is a priority, and we are proud to join utilities from across the country to prevent them from falling prey to imposter utility scams,” said Pennsylvania American Water President Mike Doran. “We encourage customers to be vigilant and become familiar with utility imposter scams and tactics to protect themselves.”

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, scammers have increased calls, texts, emails, and in-person tactics and may contact utility customers asking for immediate payment to avoid service disconnection. Pennsylvania American Water will never send a single notification to a customer threatening a service disconnection in one hour, and we will never ask customers to make payments with a prepaid debit card, gift card, any form of cryptocurrency, or third-party digital payment mobile applications.

“The pandemic has, unfortunately, elevated the prevalence of scammers preying on families and small businesses,” said UUAS Executive Director Monica Martinez. “UUAS is working directly with utility companies to help educate customers so they can be aware of and avoid utility scams during these trying times. We are shutting down fraudulent toll-free numbers, highlighting current and common scam tactics, and providing resources to customers to help them better protect themselves from the impostors who attempt to steal their money and their peace of mind.”

Through its work and with the help of customer reporting, UUAS has successfully taken more than 10,000 toll-free numbers used by utility scammers out of operation. Pennsylvania American Water remains committed to creating awareness of common and new scam tactics throughout the pandemic and beyond.

Customers who suspect that they have been victims of fraud or who feel threatened during contact with a scammer should notify their local utility company or law enforcement authorities. The Federal Trade Commission’s website also provides tips about protecting personal data and other information regarding impostor scams.

Visit www.utilitiesunited.org for more information and tips on how customers can protect themselves from impostor utility scams. Follow along with UUAS on Twitter and Facebook and join the conversation by using #StopScams.

Pennsylvania American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 2.4 million people. With a history dating back to 1886, American Water is the largest and most geographically diverse U.S. publicly traded water and wastewater utility company. The company employs more than 7,000 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and market-based drinking water, wastewater and other related services to an estimated 15 million people in 46 states. American Water provides safe, clean, affordable and reliable water services to our customers to make sure we keep their lives flowing. For more information, visit amwater.com and follow American Water on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

 

Utilities United Against Scams (UUAS) is a consortium of 146 U.S. and Canadian electric, water, and natural gas utilities (and their respective trade associations). UUAS is dedicated to combating impostor utility scams by providing a forum for utilities and trade associations to share data and best practices, in addition to working together to implement initiatives to inform and protect customers.

 

Media Contact:

Gary Lobaugh
External Affairs Manager– Western PA

C: 724-944-5148
gary.lobaugh@amwater.com

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