TPD warns of city utility call scam

TPD warns of city utilities scam
Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 7:12 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - The Tallahassee Police Department has seen reports piling up of people receiving scam calls from the City of Tallahassee Utilities Office with overdue exact balances owed on accounts, demanding payments.

“One way for someone to know right off the bat that it’s a scam is if they ask you to pay for it using a gift card,” said TPD Public Information Officer Alicia Turner.

Turner said the utilities department will also never call you demanding a payment.

If you have information about your account or how much you owe, much of that information can be found online.

“We encourage people to hang up, and call back the utilities office number so you can see if that’s the number on the bill,” Turner said. “You can also see if you’re late on paying the bill, or letting you know that you’ve been scammed.”

Turner said utilities is the newest unique way scammers are trying to steal money “because people know that people want their water, electricity and utilities to be one so sometimes people will be a little more vulnerable to those types of scams.”

Turner said any scammers who were to face jail time would depend on if they were part of an organized scheme to defraud the public and how much money they stole. However, she said they are very difficult to track.

“Most of the time these calls are not local and they’re coming from out of state or overseas,” Turner said. “That’s why it’s so important to report them so we can determine if this is a trend or if this is an organized scheme.”

Turner said those who have received the calls should also report them to the Federal Trade Commission so they can investigate the origins.

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