Columbia residents warned about city utilities phone scam

COLUMBIA, Mo. - A spokesperson for the City of Columbia announced on Tuesday that utility customers have received phone calls from individuals claiming to be a city employee and demanding payment for a delinquent utility bill.

The scammers allegedly say that resident's accounts are delinquent and facing immediate shut-off if the bill is not paid over the phone. 

A city's spokesperson said the set-up seems very legitimate. Scammers provide "claim numbers" and "employee identification numbers" and call from numbers that appear to be from the city. 

The spokesperson said the city will never call and demand payments over the phone. 

Residents are asked to never give out personal information to unfamiliar people and to call the City of Columbia or the utility department to verify information. 

City officials are asking residents who have information about fraud, to report it to the Columbia Police Department or the City of Columbia Utility Customer Service at (573) 874-7380. 

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