CrimeStoppers and the Honolulu Police Department would like to inform the public about a Hawaiian Electric Company scam that is occurring.
There have been reports of residents receiving a call from someone purporting to be a Hawaiian Electric Company employee. The person is stating that the customer is delinquent on their electric bill and if immediate payment is not made, their electricity will be shut off. In two cases the customers were instructed to make payment via bitcoin.
Hawaiian Electric will never call a customer to ask for payment over the phone or threaten to immediately shut off service. If you receive a threatening call from a utility company, ‘Just hang up!’ and dial the customer service number listed on your actual bill or on the company website. Do not call the number on your caller ID because it will lead you right back to the scammer.
Local utilities offer the following tips to avoid phone and email scams:
- If someone calls from a utility demanding immediate payment over the phone, via money transfer, prepaid debit cards, or by Bitcoin, it’s a scam.
- If the caller asks to meet the customer in person to pick up a payment, it’s a scam.
- If you receive an email from your utility urging you to click on an embedded link or attachment to resolve a utility issue or pay a bill, think before you click. It’s likely a scam.
- If a utility worker shows up at your home or place of business, ensure that person is wearing official attire with a logo, driving a properly labeled vehicle and carrying company identification. When in doubt, call the utility’s customer service center.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call CrimeStoppers at (808) 955-8300. The public may now send anonymous web tips to www.honolulucrimestoppers.org or via the P3 Tips app.