HELCO warns of telephone scam


Hawaii Electric Light Co. is warning customers of a telephone scam that may affect business customers on the Big Island.

Customers reported receiving telephone calls from a caller who claimed to be a representative with HELCO, according to the utility. The customers were directed to pay their utility bill at a store using a service called “Money Pak.” The caller also directed the customers to not make payments at the utility’s customer service office.

HELCO encourages customers to call its customer service office if they receive a suspicious call from someone claiming to represent the company.

Currently, HELCO accepts payment via U.S. mail; in person at the company’s Hilo, Kona or Waimea business offices; in person at Foodland, Sack N Save, WalMart, Kmart or First Hawaiian Bank; or credit card, debit card, or electronic check by calling a toll-free number.

Employees will not call and request a credit card number or direct customers to submit payment via other options, according to HELCO. Addtional details are available on the back of the billing statement.

HELCO advises its customers never provide personal, confidential or financial information to an unidentified caller; be cautious when responding to calls from an unidentified phone number; be aware that today’s technology can be used to mask the caller’s phone number and the caller ID could indicate the call is originating from HELCO, even though it is not; ask questions; request the caller’s name, company name, and phone number; confirm with HELCO the caller’s request and report any suspicious activity to police.

For more information, call HELCO in Hilo at 969-6999, Kona at 329-3584, or Waimea at 885-4605. Customers can also visit hawaiielectriclight.com.