The City of Lodi warns customers to be wary of callers who claim to be from the city or utility requesting immediate payment for a bill or meter.
Recently, an automated call requested credit card information from a Lodi resident. The resident’s caller ID identified the caller as “Lodi Utilities.” But, in fact, it was a scammer.
Scammers target residential customers claiming that the household is behind on its electricity bill and needs to pay up now, or that a meter is malfunctioning and could put people at risk. In other instances, these scams take advantage of business owners by calling them at busy times.
The City of Lodi and Lodi Utilities reminds customers:
- The utility will never demand immediate credit card payment over the phone. Customers receive a disconnection notice well before action is taken.
- Customers need not provide personal financial information over the phone – such as a checking or credit card account number or a Social Security number – to enroll in any kind of program or pay off a balance.
- The utility does not accept gift cards and will never require customers to buy prepaid debit cards, like Green Dot or MoneyPak, to pay their bill. Instructions to pay by prepaid debit or wire transfer is a red flag.
- The utility does not ask customers to make payments to purchase or repair electric meters.
- Don’t trust caller ID, even if it shows the name of Lodi Utilities. Scammers know how to “spoof” caller ID to make it read whatever they want. It’s another sneaky part of the scam that fools a lot of people.
Report the interaction to the FTC if you think a scammer has contacted you. If in doubt, hang up and call customer service at 608-592-3247.