AUSTIN, Texas (FOX 7 Austin) - City of Austin Utilities is warning customers of a recent phone scam where individuals are posing as City of Austin or Austin Energy employees in an attempt to steal money from customers.
In a release, the city reported that nearly 90 commercial and residential customers called the Utilities Customer Contact Center reporting they had received calls from someone claiming to be with the city or with Austin Energy.
In the call, the person tells the customer they owe money and that their utilities will be cut off if payment is not made immediately. Some calls are automated and some are from an actual person.
According to the release, the Center does not call residential customers with cut-off deadlines. Commercial customers may receive a courtesy call two days before a scheduled cut-off for not paying.
Customers will also never be asked for their credit card or wire transfer information over the phone and the city will never demand payment in person with cash, gift card or Bitcoin.
The city says if a customer receives a call threatening to interrupt service, demanding immediate payment or requesting credit card or bank information, they should hang up and dial 311 or 512-974-2000 and report it immediately.
Anyone uncertain of their account status can call the Customer Contact Center at 512-494-9400.
Customers can also make in-person payments at the city's two walk-in service centers on Webberville Road or Research Boulevard, or most Austin H-E-B stores, ACE Cash Express, Money Box, Fiesta Mart or Randall's.
Staff at these locations will ask for the customer's name, address utility account number or a combination of these before accepting payment. Balance information can only be provided to an account holder with a photo ID.
Payments can also be made online with a credit card.