The phone rings. Caller ID lists APS. The caller says your electricity will be shut off within the hour if you don’t pay your overdue bill immediately. Hang up — this is a scam.

An imposter scam is when someone pretends to be someone you trust to convince you to send them money. The scammers are often aggressive and intimidating, demanding payment directly from your bank or in the form of prepaid cards or cryptocurrencies.

Before and throughout the pandemic, Arizona Public Service Co. (APS) has provided customers with tips to recognize imposter scams, which escalated to take advantage of the financial challenges many have faced through COVID-19. 

APS joined energy, water and gas utilities across the country to recognize Nov. 17 as the sixth annual Utility Scam Awareness Day, an advocacy and awareness campaign organized by Utilities United Against Scams (UUAS). The 2021 theme is “End the Call, End the Scam.”

Scammers will prey on anyone from vulnerable populations like the elderly to small business customers and even a Valley mayor. City of Surprise Mayor Skip Hall knew the call threatening to shut off his power and demanding $400 via a Green Dot prepaid card was not legit, but he can understand how others become victims of these scams.

“What I found most concerning was seeing ‘APS Customer Service’ on my caller ID. It’s deceiving…

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