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HSV Utilities is warning customers of a new phone scam

The scam callers are asking customers to purchase gift cards as form of payment.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Huntsville Utilities is receiving numerous reports of scammers targeting utility customers (residential and business).

The scam is known as “Disconnection Deception.” The customer receives a call stating they are past due on their account and are about to have their service disconnected. In many cases, the scammer “spoofs” the caller ID so it reads, “Huntsville Utilities.” 

Typically, the customer is told disconnection will happen within 30 minutes to an hour (or that a tech has already been dispatched to cut their service). The scammer then states the only way to avoid interruption of service is to purchase pre-paid gift cards/debit cards, then call a specific number and give them the numbers from the cards. They may also be asked for personal bank account or credit card information.

Huntsville Utilities does not call customers and threaten imminent disconnection. We also do not accept payment via pre-paid gift cards or pre-paid debit cards. We also do not accept payments via Venmo, CashApp, or similar apps.

If a customer receives such a call, they should immediately hang up. Do not give the caller any personal information and do not purchase any gift cards or pre-paid cards. Customers can check the status of their account by calling the Customer Information Center at 256-535-1200 or by going to the My Account portal of our website (www.hsvutil.org).

Please share this information, especially with the elderly, those who are not very tech savvy, and people who do not speak English as their primary language, as these are the preferred targets of the scammers.

If you feel you have been the victim of a scam, contact your bank/financial institution immediately, as well as local law enforcement.

For more information about scams targeting utility customers, visit https://www.hsvutil.org/community_resources/educational_resources/utility_scams.php

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