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LUS Warns of Utility Billing Scam

Apr 02, 2018 11:30AM ● By Flint Zerangue, Sr.

LUS Warns of Utility Billing Scam

LAFAYETTE, LA - Lafayette Utilities System (LUS) is warning about scam phone calls being made to customers from people claiming to represent their utility company.

The scam callers threaten to disconnect electric service unless a delinquent bill is paid. The imposters then request customers to call an 800 number to make a payment over the phone.

These types of scams are constantly occurring across the country. According to the Federal Trade Commission, which works to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices, “Scammers can use computers to make it look like they’re calling from one place – when, in fact, they’re someplace else.  If you get a call from someone telling you to make a payment via PayPal, or to buy a GreenDot card or a gift card, it’s probably a scam.”

Things LUS Customers need to know regarding scam identification:

- When a payment is past due, customers are sent friendly reminders via automated calls or mailed post cards.

- Before a bill status is discussed with a customer, account verification is ALWAYS required.

- When customers speak with a Customer Service Representative, they may be given the option to pay over the phone, but that process will NEVER be performed by a live person.

- The automated methods LUS provides for our customers to pay a bill would NEVER include methods of payment such as Paypal, Western Union, or GreenDot.

- If you get a call, email, text, or even a visit from someone telling you to make a utility bill payment, and you believe it could be a scam, contact your utility company on the phone number that appears on your bill, describe what happened, and report the scammers to the Federal Trade Commission and local law enforcement.