Austin Energy reports 33 scam calls, fake letters sent to customers

Austin Energy says customers are reporting scam calls and fake letters sent to customers this week.

In a Twitter post, Austin Energy says 33 customers reported scam calls Tuesday, with the majority of those targeted being commercial customers. They also had reports of fake letters sent to customers Monday.

The letters feature the city of Austin seal and threaten to disconnect service if payment is not made.

Austin Energy gives customers these ways to recognize a scam:

  • Threat to disconnect, aggressively telling the customer their account is past due and service will be cut off, usually within an hour, if a payment is not made
  • Request for immediate payment, typically by a prepaid debit card or other non-traceable form of payment
  • Request for prepaid debit card information which gives the scammer immediate access to the card's funds

Austin Energy assures customers that city of Austin utilities will never call residential customers with immediate cut-off deadlines, ask for credit card or wire transfer information over the phone, or demand immediate payment in person with cash, gift card, Bitcoin or other non-traceable forms of payment.

Commercial customers may receive a courtesy call two days prior to the scheduled cut-off for non-payment.

Austin Energy advises customers who receive phone calls, letters or emails threatening to cut off service to call 311 and report it.

Austin Energy has set up a page here with more information on recognizing and avoiding utility scams.