Benton Utilities warns the public of a recent scam with someone posing as a collection employee. If you’re thinking “stop, I’ve heard this one,” remember that there wouldn’t be scam artists if no one was falling for the scam.
In this particular case, someone is contacting people by phone call, text and also email. They identify themselves as your electric company and say you need to pay them immediately or have your service shut off. Then the customer is told to transfer funds electronically.
This establishment is not affiliated with the City of Benton nor Benton Utilities. The scam is also not limited to Benton. If you are contacted by someone about bill payment, any legitimate company will allow you to hang up and call them at their official phone number, which is normally located on your bill.
In a statement, Benton Utilities said their Billing Department does not contact their customers via phone to inform them they are past due. “We ALWAYS send a past due notice before disconnecting service for non-payment. We also do not call our customers to request payment, we send servicemen to the location to disconnect or collect. Do not give account information or payment information to someone that contacts you via phone.”
If you receive one of these calls, you may also call the law enforcement in your area as well as the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office Consumer Protection Division at (501) 682-2341 or (800) 482-8982 or visit www.arkansasag.gov.
“At Benton Utilities, our customers are our priority. We felt it imperative to notify each of you of this scam. This company is very smart in their scamming practices, and we do not want our customers to fall victim to their misleading practices. Any customer who receives one of these calls, can contact our office at 501-776-5923 to confirm their account status.”