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How to Recognize and Avoid Utility Bill Phone Scams

Phone screen displaying incoming call from a scammer.

Scammers may pretend to be representatives from public utilities like Delano Municipal Utilities (DMU) to steal money or identity. To help protect our customers, we’ve outlined how you can recognize and avoid utility bill phone scams. Read on to learn more.

How to Recognize Scams

Phone scammers will try to scare you into providing payment information immediately. They will threaten to shut off your water and/or power unless you pay an overdue account balance immediately, and they’ll ask you to do so in a specific way (i.e., by using cryptocurrency, wiring money, digital payment app, or by a prepaid gift card). Remember that DMU will never do this.

Now, let’s look at what to do if a scammer attempts to reach you.

How to Handle a Utility Scam Caller

Recognizing a scam call is the crucial first step in protecting your money and, potentially, your identity. If you’re contacted by a scammer, you should:

  1. Resist any urge to act immediately—again, scammers will pressure you to make payment right now over the phone.
  2. Hang up and contact DMU. Call customer service at (763)-972-0557 to verify your account and any issues, even if the caller left a voicemail with a call-back number. You should also do the same if the message came by text. If contacted via email, don’t click any links, even if it appears to be from a company/organization you deal with; instead, contact them directly for clarification.
  3. Never pay someone who requests payment via wired transfers, prepaid gift card or reloadable card, or cryptocurrency.
  4. Block suspicious/unwanted calls, texts, and emails.
  5. Lastly, alert DMU of the scam and report it to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Contact Delano Municipal Utilities

We prioritize service, safety, and satisfaction for every DMU customer, and that includes helping protect against fraud. Use these tips to avoid common utility bill scams to protect your finances and identity.

If you truly are behind on your utility bill, we are here to help! Contact us today to discuss payment plans and other available options.