Lafayette Utilities System (LUS) is warning customers about utility bill scam phone calls.
According to LUS, the calls threaten customers with disconnection of electric or water services unless a delinquent bill is paid.
They say the imposters request immediate payment to them over the phone or by calling an 800 number for payment.
"Scammers can use computers to make it look like they’re calling from one place – when, in fact, they’re someplace else. If you get a call from someone telling you to make a payment via PayPal, or to buy a GreenDot card or a gift card, it’s probably a scam," according to the Federal Trade Commission.
LUS is reminding customers of the things they need to know regarding scam identification:
- When a payment is past due, customers are sent friendly reminders via automated calls or mailed post cards.
- Before a bill status is discussed with a customer, account verification is ALWAYS required.
- When customers speak with a Customer Service Representative, they may be given the option to pay over the phone, but that process will NEVER be performed by a live person.
- The automated methods LUS provides for our customers to pay a bill would NEVER include methods of payment such as Paypal, Western Union, GreenDot or a gift card.
- If you get a call, email, text, or even a visit from someone telling you to make a utility bill payment, and you believe it could be a scam, contact LUS on the phone number that appears on your bill, describe what happened, and report the scammers to the Federal Trade Commission and local law enforcement.
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