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Avista warns against scams after South Hill incident

Wed., June 25, 2014, 2:48 p.m.

Woman wearing blue Avista hat tried to enter home

Avista Corp. is asking customers to be wary of potential scams after a woman wearing a hat that appeared to have the company’s logo tried to gain entry to a South Hill home on Tuesday.

A customer alerted the company to the bogus employee, who told the homeowner she was investigating a gas leak in the area Tuesday, said company spokeswoman Debbie Simock.

“The customer felt pretty uncomfortable with the situation,” Simock said. No gas leak was reported near the home, she added.

Simock urged customers who have similar doubts to ask employees for a company-issued identification badge. Employees also wear shirts and drive vehicles clearly marked with the company logo, she said.

The homeowner followed the appropriate procedure, asking the supposed employee to leave and then reporting the incident to the company at its phone number, (800) 227-9187, Simock said. Potential fraud should also be reported to Crime Check at (509) 456-2233, she said.

Avista is unsure if and how clothing with its logo reached the woman, Simock said.

“We are pretty careful with logoed items because of situations like this,” she said.

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