Officials with the Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities (DPU) warn that several Los Alamos customers have received phone calls from someone claiming to be from the local utility company requesting immediate payment otherwise utility services will be terminated. This is a scam, according to officials.
As of March 2020, the DPU staff and the Board of Public Utilities resolved that no utility services would be shut-off for non-payment while the New Mexico Governor’s COVID-19 executive order remains in force. Customers are advised to do the following if they receive a phone call, email or text message from a scammer who threatens to shut off power unless payment is provided immediately:
· Hang up the phone. Don’t click on any links, and if it looks suspicious, don’t open the text or email.
· Never pay anyone via prepaid card or wire transfer. DPU will never require a customer to do so.
· Contact the DPU at (505) 662-8333 to verify if the call or message originated with the department.
“In an effort to help customers keep their accounts current during these difficult times DPU staff is still making collections calls. During a call staff may suggest the customer can make payment immediately and offer to take their payment over the phone, but staff will never insist that a payment be made nor will they threaten to shut off services if no payment is made,” stated Deputy Utility Manager Robert Westervelt. “Customers always have the option to log on to the payment portal themselves and submit a payment or hang up and call Customer Care directly to inquire of account status and make a payment if they desire to do so. They never should feel compelled to make a payment during a call that they did not initiate themselves.”
DPU’s payment portal is through its vendor Paymentus and can be accessed online at https://ladpu.com/Paymentus. Questions may be directed to the Customer Care Center Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. by phone or email at 505.662.8333 or CustomerCare@lacnm.us. In-person business may be conducted at the Customer Care windows in the Municipal Building lobby located at 1000 Central Avenue, Los Alamos, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.