Water Agencies Warn of Threatening Calls by Scam Artists

Short Title
Water Agencies Warn of Threatening Calls by Scam Artists
Callers falsely claim water will be shut off unless immediate payment is made by credit card

July 21, 2020

Water agency customers in several San Diego County communities have received scam phone calls this week demanding immediate payment of water bills by credit card or their water will be turned off.

Don’t be fooled! Hang up.

Public water agencies in San Diego County do not make phone threats for immediate credit card payment. In fact, water agencies statewide are prohibited from disconnecting service to water customers during the coronavirus pandemic per an executive order issued by Governor Gavin Newsom on April 2. The order remains in effect indefinitely.

“Scammers will often ask you to pay in a way that makes it hard for you to get your money back – by wiring money, putting money on a gift card, prepaid card or cash reload card, or using a money transfer app,” according to the Federal Trade Commission. “Anyone who asks you to pay that way is a scammer.”

Utility scams pop up periodically across the region and take many forms. If in doubt about a contact made by someone claiming to work for a public water agency, call the number on your water bill and ask to talk to a customer service agent.

More information on phone scams: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0208-phone-scams.