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Scam Alert: Residents Receiving Calls About Utility Disconnects

City of Russell Logo
City of Russell Logo

The City of Russell wants to warn customers about a phone scam targeting electricity customers regarding their utility bills.

The latest scam involves telephone callers claiming to be from the City of Russell and threaten customers with disconnecting electric service to their home or business if they do not make a payment immediately.

Several customers recently have received this type of phone call. Any customers who receive such a call should refrain from providing any personal or banking information, hang up and should instead contact the City Clerk's Office at 785-483-6311.

This is a scam. The City of Russell will not call customers to collect payment. If you get a call from someone claiming to be your utility company, here are some things you can do.

Thank the caller for the information. Then, tell them you will contact the utility company directly using the number on your bill.

Even if the caller insists you have a past due bill or your services will be shut off, never give credit card, debit card, social security or bank account numbers unless you place the call to a number you know is legitimate. Some of the scammers use software that fraudulently mimics a utility company's phone number that appears on the Caller ID.

Utility companies don't demand banking information by email or phone. And they won't force you to pay by phone as your only option.

If the caller demands payment by gift card, cash reload card, wiring money or cryptocurrency, it is a scam. Legitimate companies don't require payment by gift cards (like iTunes or Amazon), cash reload cards (like MoneyPak, Vanilla or Reloadit) or cryptocurrency (like Bitcoin).

Tell your friends and loved ones about the scam so they can protect themselves. If you got this scam call, others in your community probably did too. We know when people hear about scams, they're much more likely to avoid them.

For more information, please contact the City Clerk's Office at 785-483-6311.

(Information courtesy City of Russell.)