Hawaiian Electric Reports Surge in Scam Calls During Coronavirus Pandemic
Scammers are trying to capitalize on coronavirus fears by pretending to be Hawaiian Electric and threatening to disconnect customers’ electric service unless “overdue” bills are not paid, the company reported.
According to Hawaiian Electric, the company has received dozens of fraud reports from across its five-island service area since late last week, with “many more likely going unreported.” On Wednesday alone, there were 23 fraud reports received on Oʻahu by 1 p.m.
Customers have also reported receiving threatening texts from someone claiming to be Hawaiian Electric asking for payment.
Hawaiian Electric advises that it does not text customers to request payment.
Earlier in the day, an Oʻahu customer lost more than $300 after a scammer called and threatened to cut off electric service to the customer’s home. The scammer requested and received funds via Cash App, a mobile app that allows peer-to-peer payment. Hawaiian Electric does not accept Cash App payments, bitcoin, gift cards or prepaid debit cards.
Visit https://www.hawaiianelectric.com/customer-service/customer-and-payment-centers to check the acceptable forms of payment.
Hawaiian Electric has suspended disconnections through at least April 17 so that customers facing financial hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic are able to contact Customer Service and arrange payment options and schedules. “While customers will still be responsible for paying their electric bills, payment arrangements can help ease the financial challenges for those most affected by the COVID-19 situation,” the company said in a press release.
To make payment arrangements or for more information, customers can visit the company’s online customer care center at www.hawaiianelectric.com or contact a representatives at the following numbers:
• O‘ahu (808) 548-7311
• Maui (808) 871-9777
• Moloka‘i and Lāna‘i 1-877-871-8461
• Hilo (808) 969-6999
• Kona (808) 329-3584
• Waimea (808) 885-4605