Police Warn of Phone Scam Impersonating Utility Companies

Posted on March 9, 2021

Montgomery Police received a report from a local business that a representative purporting to be from their utility company attempted to solicit payment for their utility bill over the telephone.  The caller provided specific information regarding the employee’s business and requested payment for an outstanding utility bill in the form of gift cards.  Fortunately, the employee was savvy enough to realize their account was in good standing and this was a scam. 

Below are some red flags to look out for: 

  • You receive a call from what looks like your utility provider on your caller ID.
  • The caller threatens to shut off your service and demands an immediate payment by cash, pre-paid card, wire transfer or Bitcoin.
  • The caller informs you that you require a new meter and demands a deposit before the installation can occur
  • You’re given a phone number to call back that, when called, may sound similar to your utility provider’s automated call system.
  • The caller alerts you that, because of your good bill-paying history, you’re eligible for a bill reduction or discount but you must provide information first.

Utility providers do not accept payment via prepaid gift cards, wire transfers or cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin.

If in doubt, hang up and call the number on your utility company bill and inquire about any outstanding amounts due.

Source: Montgomery Township Police 3/09/21