Scam asking for payments, threating to shut down service

Published 10:05 am Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Actual notices would be written, included on bill

Austin Utilities and Freeborn-Mower Cooperatives Services warned their customers Monday of a phone scam claiming to represent the businesses and asking for payments.

According to Mower County Law Enforcement Center officials, phone calls are being made to residents stating that they are with the Austin Utilities and threatening to turn off their utilities unless bills are paid today. The caller is also claiming to be a cooperative employee and asking for payment to prevent service from being disconnected.

Mark Nibaur, general manager of Austin Utilities, confirmed these phone calls are a scam and are targeting commercial customers in Austin and surrounding areas.

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If residents’ utilities are at risk of being shut off, people would first receive a written notice and would be informed on their bill as well, according to Nibaur.

“It’s a whole different process,” he said.

If contacted by someone claiming to be from our cooperative requesting personal or financial information, members should hang up, locate the official organizing phone number online or in the phone directory, and place a call to the official number to confirm details. Those who believe themselves to have been the victim of this or any other scam are encouraged to please contact law enforcement to make a report.