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Utility bill scammers demand payment for "unpaid bills"

Posted at 1:32 PM, Mar 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-02 15:32:21-05

SALT LAKE CITY — With the recent extreme weather conditions across the state and widely-reported utility issues in Texas in the news, scammers are using these headlines to pretend to be utility companies calling for an unpaid balance, warns the Utah Department of Commerce.

Unsuspecting consumers are then told that water, power, or gas service will be cut off until the bill is paid. The Commerce Department explained that this creates "panic pay" so that the scammers can more easily receive illegitimate payments.

Some things to remember:

--Utility companies don't for payments over text, telephone, or email.
--They never ask for prepaid cash for gift cards for immediate payment.
--Always call the utility company directly for information, not the number provided by the caller.
--Hang up on scammers and report calls to the Commerce Department.