Crime

Sophisticated phone scam targeting El Pasoans; caller pretends to be with EP Electric

Sophisticated phone scam targeting El...

EL PASO, Texas - Phone scams are not anything new, but one El Paso woman told ABC 7 the latest phony call she received was more sophisticated. 

Susan Eisen said before yesterday, the last peculiar call she took from someone pretending to work for El Paso Electric was in December. 

She said that when she picked up the phone yesterday the call sounded more official. 

"Someone calls up saying 'My name is 'such and such,' I'm from the El Paso Electric Company, my operator number is 'such and such,'" said Eisen.

She said the caller went on to say, " I wanted to let you know we're on our way.We have an order to remove your electric meter."

Eisen said she immediately knew it was a scam, but wanted to "play around" to see what information she can gather. 

"I said to the man, 'oh, sir, have we not paid for our electric bill, can I give you a credit card so we can pay for it right now over the phone,'" said Eisen. 

Instead of the caller agreeing to take the credit card information, Eisen said she was given another number to call: 915-313-5567 extension 305.

ABC 7 called the number, a Southwestern Bell landline registered in El Paso, but the number was disconnected. 

 El Paso Electric spokesman Eddie Gutierrez said a call is your first warning sign. 

"First tip: if you get a call from the electric company asking for payment over the phone, or there's actually a physical person representing the company at your doorstep, to call us, and certainly call the authorities if you feel unsafe," said Gutierrez.  

If a billing problem arises, Gutierrez said El Paso Electric notifies customers another way.

"The only option, in which the company solicits around your bill, is through mail through a variety of notices," said Gutierrez. 

El Paso Electric asks that any suspicious activity be reported. You can do so by calling 915-543-5970.

 

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