AG Rutledge issues warning on scam utility bill calls

Local News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is warning Arkansans to not fall victim to scam utility bill calls.

According to a news release from the Attorney General’s office sent Thursday, scam artists are using an age-old con to mislead Arkansans into believing their utility bills are unpaid.

The attorney general says scammers will call, use high-pressure tactics and tell people they must pay immediately over the phone, by money order or bitcoin or their service will be turned off.

The Attorney General’s office says this is false and a prime indicator of a scam.

“Arkansans should be skeptical of unsolicited calls in which the person is demanding immediate payment by phone and claiming that a water, electric or gas bill is late,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I urge Arkansans to hang up and reach out to the utility company directly, using the number on their last bill or the company’s website to determine the status of their bill.”

Rutledge issued the following tips to make sure a payment is sent to a utility company safely, securely and timely:

  • Contact the utility company directly by calling the listed number and verifying the amount owed.
  • Drop off the payment at the utility office or an authorized payment location.
  • Pay online on the utility company’s website with a credit card or call the company directly.
  • Consider participating in an automated bank account draft system, if it is offered.
  • Mail the payment to the company directly.

The scammer could also ask for gift cards or prepaid debit cards to be purchased and ask for the code on the card. Utilities do not require payment by gift card or prepaid debit card.

If you have been contacted by a scammer, notify the utility company.

If you have paid the scammer, file a complaint with the Attorney General’s office.

For more information and tips to avoid scams and other consumer-related issues, contact the Attorney General’s office at consumer@arkansasag.gov or visit ArkansasAG.gov.

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