Scammers targeting Spanish-speaking City of Austin Utilities customers

Crime

AUSTIN (KXAN) — City of Austin Utilities is warning its customers to be aware of scam calls after reports of several targeting the Spanish-speaking community.

According to a release from the City of Austin, at least 70 customers, both residential and commercial, received the calls. The scammers reportedly left voice messages telling customers that they owe money and their utilities will be cut off unless payment is made immediately.

(City of Austin Utilities)

The scammers reportedly demand payment of about $259-$900 within 30 minutes via gift card or pre-paid credit card.

The City of Austin wants customers to keep these things in mind:

  1. The City of Austin Utilities Customer Contact Center does not call residential customers with cut-off deadlines (Commercial customers may receive courtesy calls two days before scheduled cut-offs)
  2. The city will never ask for credit card or wire transfer information over the phone
  3. While some customers do pay in cash, the city will never demand immediate payment in person with cash, gift card or Bitcoin
  4. Payments can be made by mail, walk-in or online at coautilities.com
  5. If a customer receives a phone call threatening service interruption or immediate payment, they should hang up and dial 311 or (512) 974-2000 and report the incident immediately.
  6. Anyone who has received what they believe to be a scam call and is uncertain about their status with City of Austin Utilities should call the Customer Contact Center at (512) 494-9400.

Customers can make payments at the City of Austin’s two walk-in service centers or the following authorized locations: most Austin H-E-B stores, ACE Cash Express, Money Box, Fiesta Mart and Randall’s.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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