A variation on a common scam has Seattle police and utility officials warning residents.
The scam usually goes like this: Someone calls a Seattle City Light customer and says that there is an overdue bill, a problem with the last payment, etc.; they are informed that a utility crew will be at their home shortly to turn off the power; they are then instructed to get a prepaid credit card or another form of payment.
Such forms of payment as prepaid debit / credit cards or money orders are more difficult to trace or cancel once the payment has been handed over. They create an extra step between the customer and the scammer, making it easier for them to take the money and run.
It has become such a significant problem that Seattle City Light and police made a video addressing the issue. According to the video, Seattle City Light employees will never call customers and demand payment with a threat of turning off power.
Seattle police ask customers to try to get as much information from the scammer as possible. Then call 206-684-3000 and report the information to City Light officials. If it’s too late and a Seattle City Light customer thinks they’ve already been scammed, police recommend calling 911 to report the incident.