Scammer calling Austin residents threatens to cut off utilities

Crime
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AUSTIN (KXAN) — City of Austin utility customers have reported receiving a voice message from someone claiming to be with the city of Austin Energy threatening to cut off service if a payment is not made with a pre-paid credit card within 45 minutes.

In one case, the customer said she was told to get a Money Pak card from CVS or Dollar General and then call 512-862-4052 and ask for Ana Garcia at extension 4520.

However, city of Austin utility customers are asked to only call 512-494-9400 for any billing questions.

The city says it does not believe any customers have fallen for the scam.

There are five things the city wants you to know about your utility bill:

1. The City of Austin Utilities Customer Contact Center does not call customers with cut-off deadlines.
2. We will never ask for credit card or wire transfer information over the phone.
3. We will not ask for payment with cash or gift card.
4. City of Austin Utilities accepts mail-in or walk-in payments or payments online.
5. If a City of Austin customer receives a phone call threatening to interrupt service, demand immediate payment, or request credit card or bank account information, hang up and dial 3-1-1 or 512-974-2000 and report the incident immediately.

Anyone who has received such a call and is uncertain of his or her account status can call the City of Austin Utilities Customer Contact Center at 512-494-9400.

Visit AustinEnergy.com for more information on how to avoid phone scams.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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