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Police and Customer Service Warn of Phone Scams!

Garland, TX, May 14, 2014 – The City of Garland continues to receive reports of scam phone calls made to local utility customers. These scams are similar to many being reported nationwide.

In recent incidents, the scammer threatens to disconnect the customer's electric service within the hour if immediate payment is not made by Green Dot MoneyPak card. They advise the customer to purchase these or other prepaid cards at a local store, then call back to provide the card number. Scammers may also offer to pick up a cash payment.

Also, be aware that scammers sometimes use "spoofing" software to deceptively display a utility's name and phone number on the Caller ID. Although scammers have been known to target the elderly and non-native English speakers, everyone should be wary of unsolicited calls.

It is important to know the signs of a scam and how to avoid being a victim:

  • Be suspicious of anyone asking for immediate payment over the phone or payment by prepaid debit card. The City of Garland will never call you to demand immediate bill payment over the phone or request a specific payment method. Payment, by any method, is always initiated by the customer. For a list of approved payment options, visit GarlandUtilities.org. Although scams calls can come at any time of the day, be especially wary of calls asking for payment after the City's working hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

  • Never provide personal or financial information to people who call or email you. If you did not initiate the conversation, do not give out information such as Social Security numbers, credit or debit card numbers, or bank account or routing numbers. Please note that if you contact us, you will be asked specific questions to identify yourself.

  • Do not let anyone into your home without an appointment or prior notification. City of Garland utility employees will never ask to enter your home, or come to your home to collect payment. Also beware of door-to-door solicitors offering home repair services, and always ask for identification.

If you have any concerns about your utility account or phone scams, call 972-205-2671 or visit 217 N. Fifth St.

If you believe you have been the victim of a scam, please report the incident to Garland Police at 972-485-4840.

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