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IID warns customers about a rise in scam calls

The Imperial Irrigation District is warning customers about a recent increase in scam calls targeting customers.

The district has received reports from several people over the last few days, in both the Imperial and Coachella Valleys, who say that they have been solicited by fraudulent callers who threaten to disconnect their electricity if payment is not immediately made.

"We’re asking for the public’s help in stopping these fraud attempts,” said Jamie Asbury, Energy Department Manager for IID.

If you are an IID customer and you are contacted by anyone in this threatening manner, whether it be via phone, email, text, or any other form of communication, you're advised to call the district directly at 1-800-303-7756 in order to speak with an IID representative about your account and verify if IID was attempting to contact you.

“If anyone does get contacted in a way that doesn’t sound right, or seems suspicious, we ask them to contact us directly,” Asbury said. He added, "we’ll be able to let you know if we are, in fact, trying to reach you and our Call Center representatives can discuss your account status with you.”

Additionally, IID asks customers not to rely on caller ID. Many scammers have attempted to “spoof” IID’s telephone number by masking the district’s real phone number to make it look as if the IID is legitimately calling the customer. Customers are asked to simply not redial the number, but rather to contact IID directly at the number posted above.

In the past, IID has been able to help authorities shut down two fraudulent 1-800 numbers. This was only possible because of the quick response of customers in notifying IID.

IID does have a process for disconnecting customers for nonpayment, but the district does not generally call residential customers demanding immediate payment. Rather, customers are notified by mail, door hangers or through IID’s automated courtesy-alert phone system. The district, also, does not insist on the specific method of payment (money order, pre-paid Visa card, etc.)

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Jennifer Franco

Jennifer Franco is the weekend anchor/weekday reporter for KESQ News Channel 3


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