Maui News

Hawaiian Electric Warns Customers to Watch for Scams

April 15, 2021, 9:20 AM HST
* Updated April 15, 8:20 AM
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Hawaiian Electric is warning customers of scammers pretending to Hawaiian Electric employees and using scare tactics and trickery to get potential victims to pay “overdue” bills with prepaid debit cards.

In one recent incident, a business paid thousands of dollars to a scammer using MoneyPak cards. On another call, the scammer pretended to be a Hawaiian Electric executive as he attempted to get a customer to pay. Don’t fall victim to these schemes.

Hawaiian Electric customers across five islands are reminded that the moratorium on disconnections for nonpayment has been extended through May 31, 2021. Calls or other communications threatening immediate disconnection are scams and can be reported to Hawaiian Electric via an online form.

While the volume of scam reports has not spiked, Hawaiian Electric wants to raise awareness of a new trick being used by scammers.

In one call, 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.”

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Scammers have figured out that store clerks are now trained to intervene if the customer says they’re purchasing cards to pay a utility bill, and employees have helped many potential victims avoid being conned out of their money. So 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.

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Hawaiian Electric does NOT accept the following types of payment:

  • Cash App
  • Bitcoin
  • gift cards
  • prepaid debit cards

Visit the company website to check the acceptable forms of payment.

Customers should note that while the moratorium ends May 31, it won’t trigger immediate disconnections. Those customers having difficulty paying their bills are urged to submit a payment arrangement request online to ensure uninterrupted service.

Image courtesy of Hawaiian Electric.
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