This Week Marks The Observance Of "Utility Scam Awareness Week"

Wed 11-18-2020

(Spencer)-- It's Utility Scam Awareness Week this week. Amanda Gloyd of Spencer Municipal Utilities says they're taking the opportunity to alert the public to the various types of utility-related scams making the rounds right now. She says scammers continue to use three different methods, with the most common being the phone...Amanda Gloyd01 

"There's new capabilities for spoofing or disguising caller I.D.'s that can make the number on your caller I.D. appear like it's your local utility. And so scammers are often calling to threaten disconnection of utility service and demand immediate payment by pre-paid cards. Mobile phones can also be targeted with text messages. But the truth is we will send one or more disconnect notices in the mail and we offer several bill pay options. And we'll only text you if you've signed up for that notification from us."

Another is scammers posing as employees of utility companies...Amanda Gloyd02 

"There's been reports of in-person scammers falsely stating that they were with the utility company, needing access to the residence for equipment inspection, testing, treatment, or other equally pausible reasons. Others might be insisting that you purchase a costly device, or to ensure that your utility services are going to continue operating, you need to purchase something. But most of the time when utility company employees visit a home at the request of the customer with a scheduled appointment. And if you're unsure we ask that you call our office and verify before letting anyone in your home or business."

Gloyd says another commonly used tool by scammers is email...Amanda Gloyd03 

"And while we use email to communicate with our customers, we won't ask for that personal information via email. We always encourage you to also be cautious with links in emails that you're not expecting. So some of the things that you can do to avoid scams include protecting your personal information. Don't give out or confirm personal information, financial information, to anyone initiating contact with you, whether it's by phone, in person, email, and if they're claiming to be a utility representative. So this could mean hang up the phone, shutting the door or deleting that email."

Gloyd says if you have a question if something is legit related to your utility service, to contact your provider at the number listed on your billing statement.