• Avista Warns Against Scammers

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    April 05, 2019
    Spokane, Wash. - April 5, 2019: Avista urges customers to be alert to anyone pretending to be from Avista. If you receive a call from someone claiming to be an Avista representative demanding immediate payment or asking for your confidential information, immediately end the call.
    Red flags for scam activity 
    • The scammer becomes angry and tells the customer his or her account is past due and service will be disconnected if a large payment isn’t made – usually within an hour. 
    • The scammer instructs the customer to purchase a pre-paid debit or credit card – widely available at retail stores – then call him or her back to supposedly make a utility payment.
    • The scammer asks the customer for the prepaid card’s receipt number and PIN, which grants instant access to the card’s funds. 
    How to protect yourself 
    • Avista never asks or requires a customer to purchase a prepaid debit card to avoid disconnection.
    • Customers with a past due account receive an advance disconnection notification with the regular monthly billing – never a single notification one hour before disconnection.
    • If you suspect someone is trying to scam you, hang up and call the local police then Avista. Never return a call to the phone number the scammers provide. 
    • Customers who suspect or experience fraud, or feel threatened during the call should contact local authorities, and then call Avista’s customer service at (800) 227-9187. The number is listed on Avista’s monthly bill.
    • Some scammers have duplicated Avista’s automated phone greeting, so when customers return a call to the phone number provided by the scammer, it sounds like a legitimate Avista phone number. Some of these criminals also use caller ID spoofing to replicate Avista’s customer service number.
    • Customers can call Avista at (800) 227-9187 to verify if the phone call was actually from Avista.
    Paul Kimmell
    (509) 336-6240