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News Release Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Customers Scammed into Paying Water and Power Bill with Pre-paid Cash Card NR12435SF
Los Angeles: The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP) warn the public of suspect/s who call DWP customers demanding that they pay their water and power bill with a pre-paid cash card.
The scam begins when the suspect(s) call Los Angeles area residents advising them that their water and power bill has not been paid. They then threaten to immediately turn off the customers’ services unless payment is made. The suspect(s) demand that the victims go to a nearby convenience store and purchase a pre-paid cash card. The victims are instructed to call a dedicated telephone number and read the personal identification number from the cash card.
Patrick K. Findley, Director, Security Services and Emergency Management of DWP said, “the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power would never call a customer and tell them to pay their bill in this manner.” He continued by saying “We value our customers and want to ensure that they are not scammed out of their hard-earned money.”
Detectives from LAPD are working in concert with the DWP to locate and identify the suspects responsible for scamming numerous customers out of hundreds of dollars. Anyone with information regarding this case or who may have been a victim of this scam is asked to call their local police station. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Tipsters may also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on "webtips" and follow the prompts. For additional information, please call Patrick K. Findley, DWP at (213) 367-4493.