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Cedar Falls Utilities warns customers about scam

Utility customers in several Iowa communities report receiving scam calls this week.

The caller demands immediate payment and threatens to disconnect gas and/or electric services.  The calls are not from utilities, but from thieves attempting fraud.

Cedar Falls Utilities (CFU) issued a warning to customers about the fraud attempt after learning about it on Saturday, August 2.

“We know that some Cedar Falls gas and electric customers have been called by scammers, and they seem to be targeting small businesses,” said CFU spokesperson Betty Zeman.  “This appears to be a widespread scheme, because similar calls have been reported by Alliant Energy and MidAmerican Energy customers.”

“Customers should be suspicious of any call demanding immediate payment to avoid a utility shut off,” Zeman said.  “If you get such a call in Cedar Falls, hang up and call CFU at 319-266-1761, either during the business day or after hours.”

CFU lists several common-sense tips for recognizing a fraud call:
· If a call is from CFU, it will come from a local Cedar Falls number, not an 800 number.  The person calling will identify themselves as a CFU employee.  You will be able to reach them by placing a call to CFU’s published phone number.
· CFU does not disconnect services on Saturday or Sunday.  If you get a call on Saturday threatening immediate disconnection, it’s fraud.
· Any customer who is behind on their CFU bill will receive multiple notices prior to disconnection, and will be offered an opportunity to bring the bill current.  A threat to disconnect services immediately with no prior notice is a scam.

posted : August, 7th by KXEL

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