on Friday, March 8, 2019
CFU has received reports of scammers calling local businesses, posing as utility employees and threatening to shut off service.
Police and utility officials say there are many ways to recognize a bill collection scam:
Day and time – CFU does not disconnect customers for overdue bills outside of Monday through Friday business hours. If you receive a disconnect call at night or on the weekend, the call is fraudulent.
Multiple notices – Utilities must follow a regulated process before disconnecting electric service for any customer. A customer receives multiple notices by mail, phone and/or door tag over a period of several weeks before service is disconnected. An immediate disconnect threat with no prior notice is fraud.
Know what you owe – If you know your utility account is up to date, any bill collection call is fraud.
Collection method – When a bill is past due, the customer is asked to make payment arrangements through the utility’s business office. Never give cash, credit card or bank account information to someone who shows up at your property and says he’s there to disconnect your service or someone who calls you.
Ask for ID, then call the utility – If someone on the phone threatens immediate disconnection, ask their first and last name and their supervisor’s name. Then hang up and call the utility at its published phone number, not any number provided by the caller or the incoming number that showed on your phone. The utility will be able to verify the status of your account.