Utility office reports 2 weekend scam attempts

Columbus City Utilities is warning customers that someone has been contacting customers in a scam to obtain credit card information.

There were two reports of customers being contacted over the weekend by an individual identifying himself as an employee of the Columbus City Utilities, city officials said.

The caller told the customers that their water would be turned off immediately if they didn’t pay their outstanding bill by giving the caller their credit card information over the phone.

City officials said this is a scam and no one should ever give out credit card information to anyone on an unsolicited phone call situation.

The Columbus City Utilities does not demand credit card information over phone lines and does not disconnect services for nonpayment outside normal working hours.

The department does provide an automated notification system that allows for over-the-phone payment, but this system announces the customer’s account number and the exact amount that is past due. Customers should verify each before using the system. If there are any doubts or concerns, customers should hang up and call the main extension at 812-372-8861 and follow the prompts to verify the amount owed and make any required payments.

Customers also should be aware that phone line caller ID systems can be faked and seeing the City Utilities’ name in the ID is no assurance of the caller’s affiliation.

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at jmcclure@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5631.