SMUD sends a warning this week, urging customers to be on the lookout for scammers claiming to represent SMUD and threatening disconnection if immediate payments are not made.
A common scam currently being used works like this:
• Scammers contact a customer —sometimes from a phone number that appears to be SMUD’s customer service number—and threaten disconnection if a payment is not made immediately via a pre-paid debit card, often at a pay station such as CVS or Safeway stores (not authorized SMUD pay stations). Some scammers have even asked for a cash payment to be made in person at a public location.
• The scammer demands that the customer call back a non-SMUD number with payment details.
• When the customer calls the number, it is answered with a recording of SMUD’s phone-based customer service menu.
• When the customer chooses a menu option, the call will go to voicemail or will be answered by a scammer posing as a SMUD employee.
Please note that SMUD representatives will never call a customer and direct them to a non-SMUD payment facility or require a specific method of payment such as cash, wire payment or money card.
A list of authorized SMUD pay stations can be viewed by visitingsmud.org/Pay. The following are not SMUD authorized pay stations: CVS, RiteAid, Walgreens and Safeway. Also, SMUD does notaccept payment via Green Dot, Money Pak, MoneyGram or Reloadit.
If customers receive a suspicious call, SMUD asks them to ask for a name and number, then hang up and call SMUD at one of the following published numbers:
Residential customers: 1-888-742-SMUD (7683)
Business customers: 1-877-622-SMUD (7683)
Customers can also email SMUD at firstname.lastname@example.org with the same information.
To learn more about how to protect yourself from fraud, visitsmud.org/Scam.