The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) is warning customers of a con artist who has called customers in the Lincoln Heights, Calif., area posing as an LADWP employee collecting money for unpaid bills.
Several customers told LADWP representatives at its Lincoln Heights branch office they received a call from a man stating they owed money on their LADWP account, and that the man would come and pick up their money. The caller, who spoke Spanish, never came in person to the customers' homes. Upon checking their accounts, customer service representatives said all but one of those customers were current on their payments.
LADWP's policy is to notify customers in writing through late notices marked in red as well as a final written letter warning that service will be shut off if the bill is not paid by a certain date and does not initiate collection calls to active residential customers who have current service.
Customers should not provide callers with any personal information because LADWP employees will have a copy of the customer's bill with the pertinent details. Additionally, there is little reason for an employee to enter a customer's home except for a pre-scheduled service call made at the customer's request.
Odell Mathieu, assistant director of customer service for LADWP, stated, "LADWP reminds people that if they receive calls from anyone stating they work for LADWP, to call the department to verify this is true."
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, which serves more than 3.8 million people in Los Angeles, was established more than 100 years ago to provide water and electric service to the city's residents and businesses.