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Practicing Caution and Avoiding Scams

Have you ever received one of those e-mails claiming to be from a “Nigerian Prince” asking you for your help, stating in that in return you would receive MILLIONS OF DOLLARS? You knew then that the e-mail was ridiculous. An obvious scam. An e-mail like that is what is called a “Phishing” attempt. It is the modern day internet version of a con game. These cons are not always as obvious as the “Nigerian Prince” email. Avoiding them can be tricky.

Recently, Phoenix homeowners have been warned by Arizona Public Service (APS) of a scam which attempts to get homeowners to pay false electrical bills.

On March 23, 2016, APS stated that 50 customers had received calls from individuals pretending to be APS employees, informing them that they had to pay an outstanding power bill immediately or have their electrical services disconnects.

These customers were asked to call a toll-free number where they could pay their outstanding electric bill.

The scammers used a false phone system was designed to sound exactly like APS’ own Customer Care Center. When customers called the false number, they would eventually end up talking to one of the scammers in person, who would then ask for credit card information.

Avoiding such scams can be difficult. As a rule of thumb, you should NEVER share your credit care information with an unverified source. You should practice cautioning whenever someone reaching out to YOU demanding payment. Always double and triple check the source of the call. The APS scammers used a ghost phone system which helped them trick caller ID.

If you ever receive a suspicious call, hang up immediately. You should then go online, directly to the website of the company you supposedly received a call from. Call back using THAT number. Alternatively, you can use the number appearing on a paper bill. Never, ever freely offer credit card or personal information.

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