Duquesne Light residential customers are currently experiencing a rash of “call spoofing” where scammers are fraudulently representing themselves as DLC employees. As part of the scam, telemarketers are manipulating their caller ID to make it appear as though they are calling from Duquesne Light’s authentic customer service line (412-393-7100). During the call, a scammer verbally misidentifies themselves as a DLC representative, and falsely claims the customer has an outstanding balance in arrears and threatens a shut-off of their electric service within 30 minutes if there is not an immediate payment made on the alleged past due amount. While telemarketer scams are not uncommon and something that we vigilantly monitor to protect our customers from, based on our review of recent activity, it appears incidents of this activity have recently escalated.
Here are some things you should know and can make your constituents aware of if they contact your office:
- Customers SHOULD NEVER make a payment to anyone calling to demand immediate payment. They should hang up and call our customer service line directly at (412) 393-7100.
- During the COVID-19 Pandemic, DLC has suspended late fees and shut-offs for all customers. Even during normal operations, utility shut-off notices constitute a series of notifications that would never involve a threat of a 30-minute shut-off.
- While the scammer will indicate a specific dollar amount for the alleged past-due amount in order to make their call seem more believable, there is no evidence that any customer records have been compromised. Customers are encouraged to login to their account to review their account status. Alternatively, customers can contact our customer service line to request details on the current status of their account.
- If a customer determines from a review of their account online or from a call with our customer service representatives that they do have a past due amount, we are Here to Help. If the past due amount is the result of financial struggles encountered recently, there are payment arrangements and assistance programs that our customer representatives would be happy to discuss further with the customer.
This deceptive activity, especially during a global pandemic, is a cynical attempt by scammers to take advantage of our most vulnerable customers at the most uncertain time in generations. It compromises Duquesne Light’s ability to successfully reach its customers in the event of legitimate service interruptions or safety issues, if the customers begin to block or ignore Duquesne Light’s authentic attempts to contact them. We will continue to work with our partners to do everything we can to coordinate and continue our robust customer protection efforts.