HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaiian Electric warned customers about scammers who are threatening to disconnect electricity services unless overdue bills are paid using prepaid debit cards.
HECO said in a recent incident an Oahu business paid thousands of dollars to a scammer using prepaid MoneyPak cards.
Officials said the scammer advised a customer to purchase MoneyPak cards at a local convenience store. The scammer warned against telling the cashier that the card was being purchased to pay a utility bill, advising the customer to instead cite “personal reasons.”
HECO said scammers have figured out that store clerks are now trained to intervene if the customer says they are purchasing cards to pay a utility bill, and employees have helped many potential victims avoid being conned out of their money.
In this most recent case, the scammer warned the customer that a $50 fee would be charged if he told the clerk it would be used to pay a utility bill.
The utility company said that HECO does not accept prepaid debit cards, Bitcoin, Cash App or gift cards for bill payments.
HECO also reminded customers that because the moratorium for late or failed bill payments has been extended through May 31, electricity services will not be immediately disconnected.
Officials said calls or other communications threatening immediate disconnection are scams and can be reported to HECO using an online form.
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