Attorney General Alerts

    ATTORNEY GENERAL ALERT: Don’t Get Snowed By Utility Bill Scams


    February 24, 2021

    LITTLE ROCK – After Arkansas’s historic snowfall has melted away and the temperatures return to more consistent weather, Arkansans are left to deal with pesky scam callers pretending to be utility providers. Scam artists will pose as utility companies and prey on unsuspecting Arkansans then ask for immediate payment over the phone. This scam causes far too many Arkansans to lose their hard-earned money.

    “Arkansans should be skeptical of unsolicited calls where the person is demanding immediate payment by phone and claiming that a water, electric or gas bill is late,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I urge Arkansans to hang up and reach out to the utility company directly, using the number on their last bill or the company’s website to determine the status of their bill.”

    Attorney General Rutledge released the following tips to ensure payment is sent to the utility company safely, securely and timely:

    • Contact the utility company directly by calling the listed number and verifying the amount owed.
    • 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 bank account draft system, if it is offered.
    • Mail the payment to the company directly.

    The scammer may also request that the recipient purchase gift cards or prepaid debit cards to pay off the amount owed. The scammer will ask for the code on the purchased card, which gives them complete access to money on the card. In most cases, once the prepaid card money is depleted, it cannot be recovered. Remember, utilities will never require you to pay by gift card or prepaid debit card – only scammers do that.

    Arkansans should notify the company if they have been contacted by one of these scammers. If Arkansans have paid money to the scammer, file a complaint with the Attorney General.

    For more information and tips to avoid scams and other consumer-related issues, contact the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at consumer@arkansasag.gov or visit ArkansasAG.gov.

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