City warns of phone scam threatening to shut off utilities

Finger at "SCAM ALERT" On Keyboard Button | Photo by tuan_azizi, Getty Images, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – Yet another scam appears to be hitting phones in St. George in the form of threats of shutting off utilities unless payment is made.

The St. George Water Department posted on Facebook Friday afternoon that they had received calls from city residents contacted by scammers.

“We have received a few phone calls today indicating there is a scam regarding threats to have utility service turned off unless payment is made immediately,” the Water Department posted. “The caller ID shows as the Water and Energy Administrative Office phone number of 435-627-4800 or an 800 number.”

The scammer tells the would-be scam victim to call the 800 number to make payment, the post states.

If someone is actually overdue on a utility account by a month, notice will be given on the utility bill. If a bill is overdue by two months, a postcard is sent. A call with a recorded message may also be made.

Paying via Western Union or money gram is discouraged by city water officials.

St. George residents can call the city directly to learn the status of their utility accounts at 435-627-4700.

The overdue utility bill scam is just one of many similar scams that have cycled through Southern Utah.

Some of the latest examples of phone scams include virtual kidnapping, driver licenses, jury duty, warrants and winning money. In each case, the scammer is trying to get the target on the other end of the line to send money.

Incidents of suspected scamming can also be reported to the St. George Police Department at 435-627-4300.

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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