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APS warns of scam that targets small businesses

10/7/2015

NORTH VALLEY – APS is warning customers of a new telephone scam that targets small businesses.

According to a recent release from APS, several small businesses in the Phoenix metro area have been called by individuals falsely representing themselves as APS employees. The potential victims are instructed to call a toll-free number to pay their electric bill under threat of having service disconnected within the hour.

The false number provided by the scammers goes to a phone system that acts and sounds like the actual APS call center. Customers are asked to select a number for the service they require, including reporting an outage. After selecting the option to pay your bill, an individual picks up the phone and says, “This is Wendy (or another name), thanks for calling APS. How can I help you?” If a potential fraud victim begins to question the fake APS employee, the response is rude, followed by a disconnection of the call.

APS security, local law enforcement, and the FBI are currently working together to apprehend those responsible.

To help customers from becoming a victim of consumer scams, including the most recent attempts, APS provides the following suggestions:

The only valid numbers to the customer call center are listed on customer bills.
If there is ever a question about the validity of an email, website or person claiming to be an APS representative, call the APS Customer Care Center immediately at 602-371-7171 in order to verify this information.
Recognize the signs of a phishing email: mismatched fonts, missing hyperlinks, improper grammar and misspellings.
Never share credit card information with an unverified source. Customers who pay by credit card at aps.com will be directed to the KUBRA EZ-Pay website which asks the customer to enter a “captcha” validation code. Any other credit card payment site is fraudulent and should not be used (A “captcha” typically uses a set of letters and numbers that the user is required to manually retype and submit).