PHOENIX - SRP is warning people after finding out scammers targeted a customer using the utility's own phone number.
Customers can decide to receive text messages from SRP, and John Yohe initially thought he had gotten one. But this message told him his account was going to be deactivated unless he clicked on a link and verified his identity.
Yohe never clicked on the link, and instead called SRP. Representatives told him there was nothing wrong with his account.
"It's something that I would imagine could easily fool somebody who thinks, 'Oh my god, there's something wrong with my account,'" Yohe said.
But Yohe's cell phone showed the text in the same conversation as a previous message that really did come from SRP. SRP says scammers have figured out how to make text messages appear to be coming from SRP's equipment in a process known as "spoofing."
"The most common thing that we're seeing," said SRP spokesperson Kathleen Mascarenas, "are phone calls and they're asking for prepaid cards."
But Mascarenas said this is the first time SRP has seen a text-based scam.
SRP is warning customers to call and check in person if they get a text message that seems out of the ordinary. SRP also says you won't get a text message out of the blue telling you your service will be cut off. Officials said you'll be contacted multiple times before that.