Utility Payment Scam
The payment of a utility bill is one of the most important tasks that everyone must accomplish each month. For the convenience of consumers, utility companies often offer multiple payment methods. But scammers always find ways to prey on Arkansans to con them out of their hard-earned money.
The utility payment scam occurs when a consumer receives a phone call from someone who purports to be the consumer’s utility provider. The caller will tell the consumer they have an unpaid balance and that the utilities will be cut off for nonpayment if an immediate payment is not received. The caller will then offer one of two options to transmit the payment quickly – through a money transfer service or a prepaid debit card. Both individuals and small businesses have reported becoming a victim of this scam.
How to spot a utility payment scam:
- The scammer will tell you that you have an unpaid balance, but you are current on all utility payments.
- The scammer will pressure you to pay through a wire transfer or prepaid debit card and not through the official methods offered by the utility.
How to ensure your payment gets to the utility company safely and securely:
- Track your utility payment due date on a 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 fall victim to one of these phone calls, file a complaint with the Attorney General’s office.