Utility customers nationwide continue to report bill payment scams, especially those that target the elderly, non-English speakers and businesses.
The scammers usually threaten to disconnect the customer’s utility service within the hour if immediate payment is not made with a Green Dot MoneyPak card. They advise the customer to purchase these or other prepaid cards at a local store, then call back to provide the card number. Scammers may also offer to pick up a cash payment. Also, be aware of “spoofing” software, which is used to deceptively display a utility’s name and phone number on Caller ID.
Know the signs of a scam and how to avoid being a victim:
Be suspicious of anyone asking for immediate payment over the phone or payment by prepaid debit card. The City of Garland will never call you to demand immediate bill payment over the phone or request a specific payment method. Payment, by any method, is always initiated by the customer. For a list of approved payment options, visit GarlandUtilities.org. Be especially wary of calls asking for payment after the City’s working hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Never provide personal or financial information to people who call or email you. If you did not initiate the conversation, do not give out information such as Social Security numbers, credit or debit card numbers, or bank account or routing numbers. Please note that if you contact us, you will be asked specific questions to identify yourself.
Do not let anyone into your home without an appointment or prior notification. City of Garland utility employees will never ask to enter your home or come to your home to collect payment.
If you have any concerns about your utility account or utility scams, call 972-205-2671 or visit 217 N. Fifth St. If you believe you have been the victim of a scam, report the incident to Garland Police at 972-485-4840.