Be Aware of Utility Related Fraud and Scams

There have been reports from utility customers of scams and attempted fraud all over the USA, including in Barrow.

Members report receiving phone calls from individuals claiming to be with BUECI and threaten the member with immediate disconnection of services if a payment isn’t made over the phone with a credit card.  In some cases, the individual demands payment by iTunes or Amazon gift card, having the member purchase the card and read the required information to them over the phone.

In other reported events, members are offered fraudulent utility bill payment assistance but are told in order to receive the benefits, it requires the member to provide bank account information and/or their social security number to the scammer over the phone or by email, in attempt to defraud the member or for identity theft.

Members who receives a phone call or email that threatens immediate disconnection unless a payment is provided over the phone or require the member to give sensitive information should not engage the scammer, even if the caller ID shows BUECI’s main office phone number (907-852-6166) because caller ID information can be faked.

During non-business hours, such as after 5:00 PM or on holidays and weekends, BUECI does not make courtesy calls for payment reminders or issue disconnect door hanger notices.  These tasks are always done during regular business hours.

BUECI staff will never request credit card, bank account or personally identifying information, such as your social security number, over the phone, by e-mail, or by fax.  Members can make payments in person at our main office during normal business hours, online directly with BUECI via SmartHub at Http://bueci.smarthub.coop or over the phone using our automated telephone payment system, toll free, at 1-844-425-4304.

More information on our office hours and ways to pay your utility bill can be found here and information about financial assistance programs that you may qualify for can be found here.

If you receive a suspicious call, do not give the caller any information, instead, hang up and contact BUECI Member Service & Billing directly at 907-852-6166, option 1.