We are getting reports of Milton residents who are receiving calls from scammers that claim to be the utility company looking to collect a late payment. We have also heard from Tacoma Public Utilities that potential scammers have even gone door-to-door posing as utility workers and requesting access to customer properties. As a note, the City of Milton does not make collection calls and will never demand immediate payment threatening shut offs. Anyone who visits your property should always have proper identification.
Here are some tips from the Federal Trade Commission to avoid a potential scam:
- Thank the caller for the information. Then firmly tell them you will contact the utility company directly using the number on your bill or the company's website.
- Even if the caller insists you have a past due bill or your services will be shut off, never give banking information over the phone unless you place the call to a number you know is legitimate.
- Utility companies don't demand banking information by email or phone and they wont force you to pay by phone as your only option.
- If the caller demands payment by gift card, cash reload card, wiring money or cryptocurrency, it is a scam. Legitimate companies don't demand payment by gift cards (like iTunes or Amazon), cash reload cards (like MoneyPak, Vanilla, or Reloadit), or cryptocurrency (like Bitcoin).
- Tell your friends and loved ones about the scam so they can protect themselves. If you got this scam call, others in your community probably did to. We know when people hear about scams, they're much more likely to avoid them.
- Tell the Federal Trade Commission. Your reports help the FTC and law enforcement partners stop scammers.