As new payment programs roll-out for IID customers, scammers are seeing it as an opportunity to make money. IID officials tell NBC Palm Springs in less than a year they have accrued a debt of over $11 million dollars, and now they are working with their customers to try and decrease that amount.
“The Imperial Irrigation District because of the Covid and because of the financial impact that it would not disconnect electricity to any customer. However, it’s not even been a year yet and what has resulted in a deficit of $11.3 million dollars,” said Robert5 Schettler, Public Information Officer with The Imperial Irrigation District.
IID Board of Directors took a look at the situation and decided to move forward by enrolling delinquent customers in repayment plans. And as of February 17th normal business operations were put back in place, which means power can be shut-off to IID customers.
“If you owed money to the district last year as of December 31st, whatever your balance was, you will now, if you have not already talked to us and entered into a plan, you be automatically put into either one of two plans,” explained Schettler.
Those who have proof of Covid-financial related problems will be placed on a 12-month repayment program.
“But there’s other customers who do not have a problem with their finances and they just stopped paying. those people will still owe the district and they’ll be put on an automatic 8-month plan,” added Schettler.
Customers who in good should not be affected by these payment plans, but the IID warns of scammers trying to take advantage of the situation.
“During the moratorium, we were not disconnecting so what happened was we out scammers out of business, now that the moratorium is lifted business is now as usual and those guys have come back,” said Schettler.
The Imperial Irrigation District says they are already seeing an improvement in repayments because of the initiated programs.
“We had like 13,000 customers who were in what would be called a disconnect for non-payment situation. of course we were waiving that, but now those 13,000 that were in the disconnect, now it’s half of that,” explained Schettler.
And when it comes to scammers, IID officials say to pay attention to the number calling, if it doesn’t match the telephone number on your bill, simply hang up and contact IID officials.