The City of Douglas wishes to alert utility customers of a reported telephone scam where the caller falsely solicits payment through green dot cards within 1 – 1.5 hours or utilities will be disconnected. Although the caller may appear to have detailed information that includes account numbers, the city advises customers not to make payment to the caller.
City Manager Terrell Jacobs states, “If a citizen should receive such a call, please try to capture the phone number through caller id and report the phone number to the Customer Care Center. If the number is found to be illegitimate, the representative will report the number to the police.”
Although the City of Douglas does use an automated phone system to contact customers with delinquent payment, the message does not ask for payment over the phone nor in the form of green dot cards. The City of Douglas contracts with a third party company in an attempt to collect bad debt. The City of Douglas submits a list of customers, who have already had their utility services disconnected, to a thirty party agency. This third party agency makes contact with customers over the telephone and often by mail. Citizens should also know that this third-party company does not ask you to make a payment using a 1-800 number.
Customers can take further steps to confirm if the call is a scam or not by calling the City of Douglas 311 Customer Care Center, dial 3-1-1 or 384-3302. Other tips offered by the Douglas Police Department would be not to give out financial information over the telephone unless the caller has been verified as a legitimate company and to never wire money to someone or to an online agency that you are unfamiliar with.