The City of San Angelo is dealing with a scam it has never seen before – a water bill scam that asks targets to pay their water utility bills through payment apps. The City is working to make its customers aware of this and hopes, that by spreading information about the scam, they can stop their customers from becoming victims.
“The water department does not call customers and ask for payments,” Petra Trevino, customer service manager for the City of San Angelo, said. “We usually let you use your bill or you get an orange tag reminding you that you have to pay. Please be cognizant, please don’t let someone talk you into saying, ‘Hey we are with the water department’ … get a phone number to call them back, tell them you are going to call us to verify who they are, but I will tell you if it is somebody asking for payment via any of the cashapps, just hang up. Please hang up and block them from coming through.”
Trevino said the city was made aware of this scam just yesterday, Aug. 1, when they received a number of messages from customers complaining about the calls they had received. Trevino told KLST reporters that the City recently learned of a customer who paid their bill over the phone and sent money through one of the cash-sharing apps.
“This particular customer is reaching out to their bank so they can stop the payment. If you have talked to them and have made some kind of payment arrangement or something, call your bank. Make sure they know not to allow them to take any money from your bank account or your debit card,” Trevino said.
Handling a scam like this is something Trevino said is new to the city. She said she wants customers to know that the City will answer any questions they have about their bill or about the phone calls they have received. Trevino also suggested acquiring some general knowledge about the scammer in order for the City to validate the call and verify if it was a scam or not.
“You know we are there to support you, so make sure you get good names,” Trevino said. “we’ve gotten first names, but we haven’t gotten any last names. Get a phone number, call us, make sure you verify our number, verify with us before you give any payment anywhere.”
If you have received any of these phone calls and want to verify whether it was legit or not, you may call the City at (325) 657-4209.