Columbia police are warning residents of a new scam targeting utility customers.

According to officials, scammers are calling utility customers and telling them their accounts are delinquent. Unless the customer paid immediately, utilities would be disconnected.

Police say they have received four reports of the scam Wednesday.

A Columbia police spokeswoman said none of the four customers paid over the phone and instead contacted the city's finance department to check on the status of their accounts.

Police remind residents that city bills are due 20 days after the date listed on the bill and customers will receive an automated phone message two days before utilities are shut off. Also, the city and its employees are not allowed to take payments over the phone.

For more information, utility customers can contact the billing office at (573) 874-7380 or by email at