GRU issues scam warning


Published: Wednesday, April 3, 2013 at 5:49 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, April 3, 2013 at 5:49 p.m.

Gainesville Regional Utilities says scam artists are targeting utility customers via telephone.

A handful of customers have reported receiving phone calls stating that their utility bill is past due and their service will be disconnected if they do not make a cash payment to an employee who will come to their house, GRU said in a Wednesday press release.

GRU spokeswoman Amelia Bell said two to three customers have reported the scam since Tuesday afternoon. So far, no one who contacted the utility has fallen for it, she said.

"We do not contact customers by phone to demand immediate payment," Mary Brown, GRU's customer service manager, said in a press release. "Customers can check their account status 24/7 by calling (352) 334-3434."

Bell said the utility typically notifies customers of past due bills in a letter and would not send employees to a customer's address to collect cash.

"We don't accept cash in the field," Bells said.

Other Florida utilities have sent out similar warnings in recent days.

Last week, the Kissimmee Utility Authority issued a warning of scam artists contacting customers to demand an immediate payment via a prepaid debit card.

Customers who believe they may have been contacted by a scam artist posing as a GRU representative may contact the Customer Service Department at (352) 334-3434.

Customers who have been contacted by scam artists should report it to the Gainesville Police Department at (352) 955-1818.

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