Scammers Target Water Utility Customers

By on July 28, 2020

In tough times scammers are more active, taking advantage when people are already on edge and feeling vulnerable.

Recent reports indicate that water agency customers are once again the target of their underhanded scheme.

Some examples of utility scams are:

  • A scammer will call and claim to work for the water company, saying that the resident’s utility bill is late and their water will be shut off within two hours unless they make an immediate credit card payment.
  • Another example is that someone may call pretending to be a water filter company stating that your water is polluted and the water district has asked them to come out and test your water.
  • Rather than claiming you owe money, scam callers might say you’ve overpaid and ask for bank account or credit card information to make a “refund.”

Here’s how you can spot a scam:

  • If you know you already paid, stop. Even if the caller insists you have a past due bill. That’s a big red flag. Hang up and contact your utility directly to verify the information.
  • Never give out your banking information by email or phone. Utility companies don’t demand banking information by email or phone. And they won’t force you to pay by phone as your only option.
  • Did the caller demand payment by gift card, cash reload card, wiring money or cryptocurrency? Don’t do it. Legitimate companies don’t demand one specific method of payment.

If you get a call like this, here are some things you can do:

  • Never give banking information over the phone unless you place the call to a number you know is legitimate.
  • Tell the FTC. Reporting scammers helps fight these scams. And then report it to the real utility company.