City: Beware of telephone scam involving utility bills

BUCKHANNON – After receiving complaints from several customers, the City of Buckhannon is warning residents of a possible phone scam.

Buckhannon’s information coordinator and grant writer Callie Cronin Sams said the city received a few complaints late last week from customers reporting that a number identified as City Hall has called asking for credit card information.

“It would show up on their caller ID as the City of Buckhannon or city hall or something like that,” she explained. “But it sort of indicated maybe that it could have been us, but it definitely wasn’t us.”

Sams said the false caller is telling customers that they have an overdue utility bill and proceeding to ask for credit card information.

“We just wanted to put the word out that we definitely will not call you and ask for your credit card information,” she said. “If you have a past due bill, you may receive a call from city hall saying that you have a past due bill and please either come into city hall or call in or pay online. But we will never call directly and ask for your credit card information.”

Sams stressed, “Please, if there’s any doubt, don’t just give that information out.”

Amby Jenkins, the city’s financial director, noted a similar phone scam happened roughly three years.

“I thought it would just be a good idea to get the word out in general that we will never ask for credit card information over the phone so that if this were to happen again from a different scammer, people would kind of have that information already hopefully.”

Customers with concerns about their bill can inquire about billing status or pay a bill, by calling 304-472-1430. To pay your bill online, go to http://buckhannonwv.org/pay-utility-bills/. To pay via phone directly, call 1-866-933-4026 for the automated billing system.

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