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IID warns of sophisticated phone scam
The Imperial Irrigation District has been informed that some of its customers have been contacted by a suspicious caller who claims to represent the “Imperial Irrigation District,” but is not associated with IID.
“While the caller identification on these calls may appear to be IID’s official 1-800 number and the on-hold messages seem to be official, these calls are not from IID,” said Marion Champion, IID officer of media communications. “Customers are being told to make a payment on a pre-paid credit card to avoid being disconnected and are threatened that if they do not comply they will be left without power over the weekend.”
When it comes to disconnecting an electric customer for nonpayment, IID does not call residential customers demanding payment. Rather, customers are notified by mail, door hangers or through IID’s automated courtesy-alert phone system. Furthermore, the district does not perform disconnections on Fridays to avoid weekend outages.
Some customers have reported being given a phone number with an 844 area code to call back once they have purchased a pre-paid credit card. Once the number is called, customers are greeted with a sophisticated phone tree that sounds very similar to IID’s phone system.
“To be clear, these calls are not coming from IID. We do not have any phone numbers associated with the 844 area code. Anyone receiving these calls are cautioned that this is likely fraudulent activity. To be safe, customers should hang up to avoid being a victim,” said Champion.
If you are contacted by phone or email by someone you suspect may not be legitimate, IID asks you to contact the district at 1-800-303-7756 to ensure the communication is valid.
IID has reported the suspicious phone activity to law enforcement and the incidents are being investigated.
For more information and tips to avoid fraud, please visit www.iid.com/avoidfraud.