The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

December 18, 2013

Scammers using Athens Utilities’ name to steal from customers

Beware Athens Utilities’ customers: Two scammers have been using the utilities’ name to try to obtain customers’ credit and debit card information, an official said Wednesday.

One scammer, who purports to be calling from the Athens Utilities Billing Center, claims there is an overdue balance that must be paid within the hour or power will be disconnected, said Athens Utilities Customer Relations Manager Amy Golden. The caller is working with a second person, she said.

This is how the scam works: The first person informs you that your bill is past due and must be paid. When you offer to pay immediately, you are either transferred to the second party who asks for your debit or credit card number or you are given a 1-800 number to call, Golden said.

Athens Utilities does not call customers to obtain credit or debit card information, she said.

What you should do

Athens Police Chief Floyd Johnson advises citizens to never give personal information over the phone, and to hang up when they receive a suspicious call. When in doubt on the legitimacy of a call, hang up and call the business directly. Do not use a number provided to you by the person who initiated the call. Use a published number for the business.

If you have questions about your utility bill, call 256-233-8750.

 

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