The Prescott Valley Police Department has recently received reports of suspects calling Prescott Valley citizens and posing as agents of APS (Arizona Public Service). The telephone number will come in as from a verified APS number, but then the intended victims are instructed to call another number. These calls may initially appear legitimate. Once the victims call the other number, they are told that their bills are delinquent. They are asked to pay amounts that are a little high but still within reason. Please remember that APS will never call you unless there is an emergency. They always conduct business by mail. These calls can be terrifying, but with a little knowledge, you can protect yourself and your family from being victimized.
To protect yourself from scammers, it is important to remember the following:
When in doubt, ask. If you are not sure if the caller or sender was real, look up the phone number for the individual or agency in your phonebook or on the agency’s or company’s official website. Call that number yourself and check to see if what you were told by the caller is accurate. It is easier to call APS directly and verify the information than to be a victim and lose hundreds of dollars.
Caller ID is easily spoofed. Scammers are pros at tricking Caller ID systems into showing the caller information they want it to show. Just because the Caller ID says “National Consumers League” or “APS,” does not guarantee that the person on the other end is affiliated with that organization.
Be careful of email senders who appear to be legit. Scammers can spoof the “from” address of emails and have been known to run imposter scams over email. If you receive an email from someone demanding money right away, it’s probably a scam. Instead of replying, simply delete the email. Do not click on any links or attachments—they could contain malware that will infect your computer and steal your personal information.
If asked for payment with a wire transfer, cash-reload card, or gift card—it’s a scam. These are all ways that scammers love to be paid because it is very difficult to track. No reputable business will want to be paid with gift cards.
Police officers would prefer to investigate the reported suspicious activities than respond to a report that you have been defrauded. Protection from criminal activity is as much the responsibility of citizens as it is the police department. Please report any unusual activity or suspicious phone calls to police to prevent future fraudulent activities.
Prescott Valley Police Department can be contacted at (928) 772-9267 for non-emergencies, 911 for emergencies.