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During the uncertainty caused by the pandemic, utility warns customers that hoaxes are on the rise.

With the COVID-19 pandemic in full force, phone scammers have ramped up their efforts to take advantage of the uncertainty.

And Canby is not immune, according to DeeAnne Wunder, customer service supervisor at Canby Utility. Scammers are targeting people in the area with high-pressure and threatening tactics, a technique that can be effective if people aren't aware.

And Wunder wants her customers to be very aware of what's going on.

"We are getting customers calling in asking about their balance," she said. "The scammers are out there in full force right now, and I want the community to pay attention to what's happening and call us before doing anything."

PMG FILE PHOTO - Phone scams are on the rise during these uncertain times. If you get a call about your utility bill, don't send money; call Canby Utility first.

The scams usually revolve around telling the victim they need to make a payment, often within a very short timeline, or their utilities will be turned off. The goal, it appears, is to convince potential victims to purchase a prepaid card or money order.

Wunder said people need to know they are not close to having their utilities turned off.

"We haven't been sending out delinquency or disconnect notices since March," said Wunder, who added that as of July 1 delinquency notices have begun to be sent out again, but not disconnect notices.

She said that if someone receives a phone call requesting payment or threatening a disconnect, they're probably on the business end of a scam attempt.

"People just really need to be aware," Wunder said.

Any Canby customer who receives a call demanding payment should not make any type of financial commitment. Instead, call Canby Utility at 503-266-1156 and report it. Customer service representatives are on duty from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

"I hate to see anyone get scammed," Wunder added.


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