I’ve mentioned three of them already since yesterday (here, here and here), but there is one more to mention that is particularly troubling because it hits very close to home (literally, in fact). It seems that someone is going around calling Benton residents, claiming to be from Benton Utilities and threatening to shut off their electricity if a bill isn’t paid immediately.
As you might guess, the scammer is in no way affiliated with Benton Utilities and is simply bilking people out of their money. Here’s the full text of a Facebook post from Benton Utilities talking all about the scam:
Benton Utilities desires to notify residents and businesses in our area of a scam going on. A company is calling utility customers identifying themselves as a Benton Utilities employee demanding payment or be shut off within one hour and gives you the following toll free number to call 1-800-754-5414. When this number is called, they answer the phone “billing and processing.” This company is not in any way affiliated with the City of Benton nor Benton Utilities.
Scammers are targeting utility customers in this area, these customers are not limited to Benton Utilities Customers.
Con artists give these customers a call and say that their electric bill payment is past due, and that their service will be disconnected within the hour if they don’t pay up. Then they are directed to transfer funds electronically, sometimes through the system known as “MoneyPak.”
Benton Utilities recommends anyone receiving such a call to contact their utility company’s phone number listed on the bill with any questions regarding account issues. Benton Utilities Billing Department does not contact their customers via phone to inform them they are past due. Do not give account information or payment information to someone that contacts you via phone.
A report has been filed with the Benton Police Department, and the Attorney General has been notified as well. If you receive one of these calls, you may also call the law enforcement in your area as well as the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office Consumer Protection Division at (501) 682-2341 or (800) 482-8982 or visit www.arkansasag.gov.
At Benton Utilities, our customers are our priority. We felt it imperative to notify each of you of this scam. This company is very smart in their scamming practices, and we do not want our customers to fall victim to their deceptive practices. Benton Utilities customers who may have a question regarding this matter are welcome to call our office at 501-776-5930.
So, there you have it.
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