Surge in Scam Calls to Electric Customers

February 26, 2018, 8:04 AM HST · Updated February 26, 8:08 AM

Company executives are once again reporting a surge in scam calls to customers of Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawaiʻi Electric Light.

Phone Scam. Wendy Osher / Maui Now graphic.

Representatives are advising customers that if they receive a scam call, to “Just hang up,” and offered the following tips:

    • If you receive a call from someone saying they’re from Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric or Hawaiʻi Electric Light and demanding immediate payment over the phone or via prepaid debit cards, it’s a scam.
    • If the caller says your account is delinquent and threatens to shut off your power immediately unless payment is made, it’s a scam.
    • If the caller asks to meet you to pick up a payment, it’s a scam.
    • Customers should simply hang up if they receive such a call, and then dial the customer service line that is printed on your monthly electric bill or listed on your company’s website. Do not call the number displayed on your caller ID, even if it says “HECO,” “MECO” or “HELCO.”

On Friday, Feb. 23, 2018, the companies reported receiving dozens of fraud reports from customers on Oʻahu and Hawaiʻi Island.

The scammers appear to be calling residential and business customers at random. One of the businesses reported receiving 10 scam calls within a short time frame.

The utilities have recently noticed a higher level of sophistication among the scams. Scammers are more persistent and aggressive, insisting that a bill is overdue even if the customer knows it’s been paid.

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