In 2021, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission received fraud reports from 2.8 million consumers. More than $2.3 billion in losses were reported due to imposter scams. Most phone scams originate outside the continental United States, making it very difficult for U.S. authorities to track, apprehend and prosecute scammers. That is why your best line of defense is to educate yourself.
We are continually contacted by customers stating that someone called them, pretending to be an HES employee. There are only a few ways we contact customers.
- We mail all customers a monthly bill, except for those who opt to receive their bill by email.
- If your account is subject to disconnection due to non-payment, you will receive an automated call informing you of your past due bill.
- If you are a Pay-As-You-Go customer, you will receive text and email alerts if your account balance runs low
- If you have called us with a question and we need time to research your answer, we will take you phone number and call you back.
Over the years, there have been a number of scams reported to us by our customers including:
- The caller demanded an immediate payment or service would be disconnected.
- The caller conducted a survey and then requested the customer’s debit or credit card information to issue their prize (TV)
- The caller said the HES customer had been overcharged and that HES only provided refunds by direct deposit. The caller requested the customer’s bank account information.
- The caller said the customer was receiving part of a settlement from a lawsuit against HES and that the settlement would be direct deposited into the customer’s bank account. The caller requested the customer’s bank account information.
We DO NOT EVER call customers threatening to disconnect electric service unless we receive an immediate payment.
If you receive a call from someone stating they are an HES employee, but you suspect it is a scam, ask for the person’s name. Hang up, dial 887-4200, choose option 5 to reach our operator, and ask to be connected to the person who called you. If you find that the person does not work at HES, please inform the operator of the specifics of the scam call so that we can alert all of our customers.
To help our customers learn more about the various types of scams, we have prepared the following information. Take the time to educate yourself so that you don’t become a victim of a scam.
Federal Trade Commission YouTube channel
Federal Trade Commission article on “How to Avoid a Scam”
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau “Frauds and Scams” webpage
Consumer Reports article on “How to Protect Yourself From Common Scams”
AARP’s “11 Ways to Protect Yourself From Fraud in 2021”