IID Customers Warned of Illegal Scam Calls

City News Service Pristine Villarreal

COACHELLA (CNS) – The Imperial Irrigation District advised customers Wednesday about how to help stop a recent rise in fraudulent callers in the Imperial and Coachella valleys.

“We’ve recently had a number of reports from customers of suspicious callers who are threatening to disconnect the customer’s electricity if immediate payment isn’t made,” IID Energy Department Manager Jamie Asbury said in a statement. “So, we’re asking for the public’s help in stopping these fraud attempts.”

The district doesn’t call residential customers directly to demand immediate payment, it notifies them by email, door hangers or through its automated courtesy-alert phone system, according to IID officials. It also doesn’t insist on a specific payment method.

Customers who are contacted in a threatening manner are encouraged to call the utility directly at 800-303-7756 so an IID representative can verify if the district was attempting to contact them, according to the utility.

Scammers have attempted to mask the IID’s real number, making it look like the utility is calling customers, so the customers were advised to not rely on caller identification and to not redial the number.

“If customers act quickly enough, it can make a difference,” IID officials said in a statement. “In the past, IID was 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.”

Copyright 2023, City News Service, Inc.

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