Riverside warns utility customers of fraud calls demanding payment
By Gail Wesson
Fraud calls that have victimized users of other agencies are also creating headaches for customers of Riverside Public Utilities, according to a city news release.
An outside company is using a recording and the city’s customer service caller ID to contact customers demanding payment but then leaving a different number to call back, the release stated.
Residential and business customers are encouraged not to give out personal and financial information to scammers. The city utility only contacts customers through paper billing statements, online billing emails, late payment reminders and green “48-hour notification” tags placed at the customer’s address.
The utility does not call customers to demand payment. Utility workers drive marked vehicles, wear uniforms and display photo identification.
Customers who have questions about suspicious calls should hang up and report the fraudulent callers to the city’s call center at 311 from a landline or 951-826-5311 from other telephones, or file a police report at 951-354-2007.
Other recent scams, some seasonal, include callers pretending to be IRS agents demanding back taxes, court employees seeking fine payments and pleas to post bail for a victim’s relative who has been jailed. Most agencies send such notices in writing.