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Utility scams

The PUD will never call you and threaten to disconnect your power in 30 minutes if you don’t send immediate payment. This is an energy bill scam that takes advantage of COVID-19 worries.

How to report a scam

Scams can be committed over the phone, through mailers, via text messages, and by people visiting your home or business. Criminals use various means of solicitation and may claim bills are delinquent, that special funding is available, and/or seek your financial information.

The PUD does not collect payments at customers’ homes and never calls customers asking for credit card numbers for payment.

If you are ever in doubt, ask for PUD ID. For phone calls, ask for the caller’s phone number, then hang up.

Report scams to Customer Service at 425-783-1000 or by filling out this online form.


Types of utility scams

We’ve detailed the most common scams by type below. For more information and steps to protect yourself from scams, check out the Utilities United Against Scams website.

Newest Scam > August 2020

You may receive a phone call from someone claiming to be a PUD representative, telling you that you are eligible for a refund because you were overcharged. You will be asked for your bank account number or credit card so the refund can be placed in your account or on your credit card.

This is scam. If you are due a refund from the PUD, we will only contact you if a legitimate mailing address is not on file. That is the only information the PUD would ask a customer for. We never ask for account or banking information.

Other phone scams

Scammers will make unsolicited calls to victims stating they are from the utility company and threaten immediate disconnection unless payment is made. At times, scammers will be aggressive and claim to know a victim’s utility billing details. They will attempt to obtain the victim’s financial institution information, or may request the victim purchase a pre-paid credit card. Scammers also may have access to technology that allows them to display a valid PUD phone number on a victim’s caller ID.

Another scam involves telling the customer that there was a mistake with their account and that, for the inconvenience, they will receive a big discount on future bills if payment is issued immediately to a special account number. The caller is very apologetic for the “problem.” After payment is made, the caller calls back to say there was a problem processing the payment and to please try again. The scammer promises they will refund the customer by check for the amount of overpayment. The customer never receives any check and the scammer receives both payments.

Official PUD policy

The PUD doesn’t make unsolicited calls to customers threatening immediate disconnection. We may call customers related to their PUD account, but will never request financial account information, and will never direct a customer to buy a prepaid credit card or money pack. Any requests for payments will be directed through our established payment channels.

What to do

Ask questions of the caller and take notes of what information they are requesting. Don’t provide any information about your PUD or financial institution accounts. Hang up and call Customer Service at 425-783-1000 or fill out our online form.

In-person scams

While rare, a scammer may visit your property and demand immediate payment to avoid disconnection. The scammer may wear work type clothing to look official and use aggressive techniques to obtain payment or financial institution information.

Official PUD policy

Employees may visit your property to disconnect service for a variety of reasons, but only after notices have been mailed. To protect the safety of our customers and employees, PUD representatives don’t collect payments at customer properties. Additionally, employees always carry a PUD ID that they are happy to present upon request.

What to do

Ask the individual for their PUD ID and call Customer Service at 425-783-1000 to verify.

Email scams

A scammer may send emails demanding immediate payment and threatening disconnection. These emails may be unsolicited or received in coordination with a scammer phone call. The notices and attachments may contain fraudulent PUD logos, fabricated disconnection order numbers, and complaint resolution steps.

Official PUD policy

We mail disconnection notices to customers. We only provide email billing and disconnection notices to customers who have signed up for the PUD’s online bill payment service. Any billing-related email from the PUD will always come from an @snopud.com domain email address.

What to do

Review any notices or emails carefully. You might be able to identify if the email is from a scammer by checking the sender’s email address. If the email is from a domain address other than @snopud.com, it may be a scam. Look for spelling errors or references to other utility companies, or even different creditors, as scammers often use the same template email and simply change a couple of fields for their current target.

Call the PUD’s Customer Service department at 425-783-1000 to verify the authenticity of the email.