EL CENTRO – The Imperial Irrigation District has been informed that some of its customers have been contacted on their cell phones by a suspicious caller or calling system that claims to represent the “electric company,” but is not associated with IID.
The calls appear to be generated by a dialing system that uses voice recognition. Recipients are asked to “press 1” on their cell phones for various options, which include an opportunity to be put on a “do-not-call” list, receive free electricity for six months, support legislation to lower electric rates, and more.
To be clear, these calls are not coming from IID. Anyone receiving these calls is cautioned that this is likely fraudulent activity and to be safe, customers should hang up to avoid being a victim.
“These calls are not associated with IID,” said Robert N. Fugett, superintendent of customer service administration. “We have to assume that if a caller does something other than just hang up, they could get scammed in some way.”
The suspicious calls to customer cell phones come about a month after the district reported a rash of fraudulent emails to customers, as scammers appear to be creative and versatile in their approach.
When it comes to disconnecting an electric customer for nonpayment, IID does not email residential or commercial customers and demand payment. Rather, customers are notified by mail, door hangers or through IID’s automated courtesy-alert phone system.
If you are contacted by phone or email by someone you suspect may not be legitimate, IID asks you to contact the district at 1-800-303-7756 to ensure the communication is valid.
IID has reported the suspicious cell phone and email activity and the incidents are being investigated.
For more information and tips to avoid fraud, please visit www.iid.com/avoidfraud.