Alerts

Attorney General Alert: Consumers and Business Owners Beware, Don’t Fall Prey to Utility Scams

LITTLE ROCK — Increasing temperatures lead to increasing utility bills for Arkansas business owners, something scam artists are using to their advantage when targeting individuals and local businesses. While utility companies accept multiple payment methods for the convenience of businesses and consumers, gift cards and crypto-currency, like Bitcoin, are not on the list. Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is warning Arkansans that scammers are finding ways to prey on Arkansans and directly impacting their budget and hard-earned money.

“Arkansans are suffering from a struggling economy, high prices and even higher temperatures, they do not need the worry about additional costs that come from these scams,” said Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “I urge Arkansans to be vigilant against potential scams so they don’t lose their cool or their money.” 

How to spot a utility payment scam:

  1. The scammer will call and tell you that you have an unpaid balance even if you are current on all utility payments.
  2. The scammer will pressure you to pay through a gift card, bitcoin, prepaid debit card, or wire transfer and not through the official methods offered by the utility.

How to ensure your payment gets to the utility company safely and securely:

  1. Track your utility payment due date on a calendar when you receive the bill.
  2. Drop off the payment at the utility office or an authorized payment location.
  3. Pay online on the utility company’s website with a credit card or call the company directly.
  4. Consider participating in an automated draft system if it is offered.
  5. Mail the payment to the company directly.

If you fall victim to one of these phone calls, file a complaint with the Attorney General’s office. The Attorney General’s office also makes presentations on scams to organizations and groups. To call and schedule a scam prevention presentation, call 501-682-2007 or email speaker@arkansasag.gov.