LITTLE ROCK – Scam artists are targeting small businesses and residential customers by altering caller IDs and claiming to be from a utility company stating that the customers have unpaid utility bills and the services will be shut off immediately if not paid right away. Customers who receive these calls should hang up and call their utility company using the phone number on their bill to verify the information. Customers should never make a payment or give out personal financial information to someone calling unsolicited and demanding immediate payment.
“Never give out any personal information over the phone,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Arkansans should be skeptical if the caller requests immediate payment through nontraditional channels, like prepaid debit cards or wire transfers. Always be cautious of unsolicited calls and consider hanging up and finding the company’s phone number from independent sources and calling them to confirm any outstanding balance.”
Attorney General Rutledge released the following tips to ensure payment is sent to the utility company safely, securely and timely:
· Add your utility payment due date on your calendar when you receive the bill.
· Drop off the payment at the utility office or an authorized payment location.
· Pay online on the utility company’s website with a credit card or call the company directly.
· Consider participating in an automated draft system, if it is offered.
· Mail the payment to the company directly.
If you have been contacted by one of these scammers, notify the utility company. If you fall victim to one of these phone calls, file a complaint with the Attorney General.