Sacto 9-1-1
January 16, 2013
SMUD business customers continuing to be scam targets

SMUD is warning a phone scam continues to be perpetrated on its business customers.

Around the holiday season, some customers reported getting phone calls by someone pretending to represent the Sacramento Municipal Utility District. The caller threatened to shut off a home's or business's electric power unless the customer pays a past-due bill immediately at a payment facility.

The scam attempts were reported by several business customers, the utility said. SMUD said this week that those fraudulent calls continue to be made.

In addition, there is another wrinkle: in some instances, scammers are telling business customers that their utility payment was overpaid and has been returned. The customer is instructed by phone that another payment must be made immediately to a payment facility.

In each case, the scammer is well-versed in past-due collection techniques, according to a SMUD press release.

SMUD emphasized that it never asks customers for financial information by phone or directs them to a payment facility.

Sacramento police are investigating.

If you receive a suspicious call, ask for the caller's name, then hang up and call SMUD to report it: Residential customers should call (888) 742-7683; business customers should call (877) 622-7683.

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