With utility scams on the rise across the country and scammers getting more creative and aggressive with their methods of attack, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) is urging its customers to stay vigilant so they can avoid being victimized. The more LADWP customers understand how scammers operate, the better they can protect themselves.
A common phone scam is one in which scammers impersonate LADWP employees and threaten to shut off the customer’s water and power services if they do not receive payment immediately over the phone or through other unofficial payment methods such as going to a liquor store or ATM to send payment to a designated account.
“It is unscrupulous what these scammers are doing, posing as LADWP employees who trick hardworking individuals into paying large sums of money because they’ve been told they are behind on their utility bills,” said George Rofail, LADWP chief customer officer. “LADWP will never demand payment over the phone or threaten water and power shutoff. Please call the number listed on your utility bill before providing information or payment to someone claiming to be with LADWP.”
LADWP wants its customers to know that LADWP does not request customers make payments of any kind over the phone with a live LADWP representative, including credit cards, debit cards or prepaid Visa or Mastercard, such as Green Dot cards. The only way to make a bill payment over the telephone is by accessing the automated payment system and following the pre-recorded prompts, but never with a live person.
LADWP also does not ask for gift cards or cash payments via ATMs, kiosks or Bitcoin machines. If you are asked to do so, it’s a scam. Valid ways to pay are:
— Through the mail at:
Payment Mailing Address:
PO. Box 30808
Los Angeles, CA 90030-0808
— Online at ladwp.com
— The customer support line: 1-800-DIAL-DWP (1-800-342-5397)
— The automated payment line:1-877-697-2939
— LADWP Customer Service Centers
Customer Service Centers located in the San Fernando Valley are located at:
— 6550 Van Nuys Blvd., Van Nuys 91401;
— 7229 Winnetka Ave., Canoga Park 91306; and,
— 9154 Sepulveda Blvd., North Hills 91343.