ED Magedson – Founder
California Department of Water and PowerWaco, Texas USA
California Department of Water and Power Utility Bill Scam, Unpaid Utility Scam, Power Shutoff, Waco Texas
This is an impostor posing as the "California Department of Water and Power" a fictional utility agency that works hand-in-hand with utility "service providers". The representative, Anthony Stokes, claimed that his department maintained the infrastructure associated with power transmission, such as the utility poles. He then claimed that my company had attempted to pay a bill online and that the payment had not gone through. He also claimed that two notices had been mailed out not long ago and we should have received the notices.
While the amount would be refunded to us in 3-5 days, our power was at risk of being shut off and he needed a payment. I didn't let him finish as this was clearly some sort of suspicious scam. Anthony couldn't answer basic questions to identify our account and only seemed to know our company name and address. Furthermore, the amount in question, $638.95, did not reflect what our bill normally is. I asked for a number to call back and hung up. I called back a few minutes later from a blocked line and Anthony picked right up and proceeded to go on about our outstanding bill and how the power would be shut off. Clearly unusual.
Upon contacting our actual provider, I found out that utility providers never call prior to shutting off the power(I suppose that can be both good and bad) and that these types of scams were becoming more and more common. I was also advised to file a police report to help document how widespread these scams our to help law enforcement and utility companies develop strategies to prevent fraud.
On a lighter note: given how utility companies are universally reviled and already viewed suspiciously, posing as a utility company has to be the dumbest move ever.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 06/10/2013 02:50 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/California-Department-of-Water-and-Power/Waco-Texas-76700/California-Department-of-Water-and-Power-Utility-Bill-Scam-Unpaid-Utility-Scam-Power-S-1058005. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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