Alcoa, Maryville utility districts warn of phone scam

Alcoa, Maryville utility districts warn of phone scam

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ALCOA (WATE) - The cities of Alcoa and Maryville, along with Tuckaleechee Utility District, are warning their utility customers of a possible scam operation.

The warning came after a customer reported receiving a fraudulent telephone call to collect money on an account.

The caller falsely claimed to be with the City of Alcoa Utilities and said the customer's service would be disconnected if a credit or debit card payment was not made over the phone.

The City of Alcoa does not initiate phone calls to customers demanding immediate payment. Any offsite utility payment is made via an automated telephone payment system.

The city says no one from the city will ever call a customer for a credit card payment over the phone.

Customers who receive such a call are encouraged to call the City of Alcoa at 380-4700 the next business day.

Tuckaleechee Utility District has not yet received notice of any calls to their customers but want to warn their customers of the scam.

The Tennessee Municipal Electric Power Association says utility customers statewide are being targeted. The caller appears professional and in some cases, the name of the utility appears on caller ID.

Some utilities report callers are asking customers to make prompt payment using reloadable debit cards or reusable gift cards.

Reportedly thousands of dollars have been paid to scammers across the state.

Citizens are asked to report any suspicious phone calls from people identifying themselves as representatives of their utility by contacting that utility themselves. Customers should not give any caller their payment or credit or debit card information and never pay by cash, gift cards or reloadable cards.

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