Gateway: News

Phone scam targets PenLight small business customers

A phone scammer targeted small business owners in the Gig Harbor area last month.

The caller impersonated PenLight and stated the member’s account was delinquent, the electric cooperative detailed in a release.

He said power would be disconnected unless a payment was made using a prepaid card. If a member questioned or resisted, the scammer politely declared that the power was on a timer and was scheduled to be shut off unless an immediate payment was made.

Fortunately, recently targeted businesses did not fall for this scam.

“PenLight would never ask any of its members to make a payment over the telephone using a prepaid card,” the release states. “Members with delinquent accounts receive an advance disconnection notification included with their regular monthly bill. They never receive just one notification shortly before service is disconnected.”

For customers who believe someone is trying to scam them, PenLight officials are asking them to call the cooperative’s member services department at 253-857-5950 for further assistance.

“PenLight never disconnects service on weekends,” the release states.

PenLight has served the Gig Harbor and Key peninsulas and Fox Islandsince 1925. It has grown to be the second largest cooperative in Washington state and serves more than 32,000 meters with 977 miles of line in 112 square miles.

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