Consumer Alert: Protect Yourself Against Fraud

Be Vigilant about Utility Impersonators, Phone and Text Scams

APRIL 29, 2019 – Scammers are at it again! Mahalo to Hawaiian Electric for the heads up on this latest fraud attempt. The Honolulu Board of Water Supply (BWS) would like to remind customers to be vigilant about protecting themselves against fraud. Utility customers are increasingly becoming targets for individuals attempting to gain access to residences or to steal personal information.

Unexpected or Aggressive Text Messages

Scammers now are trying to steal your personal information by sending out fake service disconnection notices by text and demanding payment under threat of immediate disconnection. This is a scam! Should you receive a text from someone claiming to represent the BWS, DON’T respond or dial any phone number provided in the text message. BWS will never send out notifications of this importance via text.

The BWS does not send out disconnection notices by text, email or phone. BWS sends a field collector to the customer’s location about 2 weeks prior to the anticipated service disconnection date and instructs customers to direct dial 748-5030 regarding any questions or concerns.

If you are ever concerned about your account status, call BWS Customer Care at 748-5030.

Unexpected or Aggressive Phone Calls

If you receive unexpected and/or aggressive phone calls from individuals demanding water bill payment under immediate threat of disconnection of water service, ask for the individual's name and phone number, and say you will call them back. Do not provide them with any information about your account. Then call the BWS at 748-5030 to confirm your account status.

The BWS does not call customers outside its regular business hours, Monday-Friday, 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. regarding payment, nor does the BWS attempt to make contact with a customer, demand payment, and collect payment all in the same phone call. When the BWS contacts a customer regarding overdue payment, he or she will be asked to call the BWS at 748-5030 to make a credit card or debit card payment.

Unexpected Visits

If you are approached by someone saying he/she is from the BWS, all personnel involved in official BWS activities will be properly credentialed, wearing official BWS attire with the BWS logo, driving BWS labeled vehicles, and carrying an official City and County of Honolulu badge, with the agency identified as the BWS. See below for examples of official BWS attire and official BWS vehicles.

Additionally, the BWS does not schedule appointments to meet with a customer outside its regular business hours of 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday, and does not conduct leak detection inside a customer’s property.

Residents who want to confirm the validity of an individual claiming to be a BWS employee may call the BWS at 748-5000 or call the Honolulu Police Department at 9-1-1 if they are suspicious of an individual’s credentials. Customers may also call the BWS at 748-5041 to file an additional report about suspicious encounters.

Official BWS Attire

Consumers should be aware of what attire BWS employees wear while in the field.

front of bws shirtback of bws shirt
side view of bws shirtbws shirt sleeve

Official BWS Vehicles

Consumers also should be aware of what BWS-labeled vehicles, which include sedans, SUVs, utility trucks, and construction equipment, look like. Here are sample photos. Please note the BWS label, logo and the vehicle's license plate (BWS XXX).

bws suv white front viewbws suv white rear viewbws green truck side view
bws suv door panelbws utility truck green side view