City of Austin Utilities warns against scammers

January 18, 2019

City of Austin Utilities wants all customers to be aware of individuals posing as City of Austin or Austin Energy employees. These scammers are trying to take advantage of customers and steal money from them.
 
Over the last week, 30 residential and commercial utility customers reported receiving calls from the scammers, who use technology to clone phone numbers, making the calls appear as if they are actually from the City of Austin's Utility Customer Care Contact Center at 512-494-9400. The scammers tell customers that they owe money and that their utilities would be cut off if immediate payment is not made. The majority of the customers were Spanish-speakers and none of them fell for the scam.

Six things to know:

  1. The City of Austin Utilities Customer Contact Center does not call customers with cut-off deadlines.
  2. We will never ask for credit card or wire transfer information over the phone.
  3. The City will never call you to demand immediate payment in person with cash, gift card or Bitcoin.
  4. City of Austin Utilities accepts mail-in or walk-in payments or payments online at www.coautilities.com.
  5. If a City of Austin customer receives a phone call threatening to interrupt service, demand immediate payment, or request credit card or bank account information, hang up and dial 3-1-1 or 512-974-2000 and report the incident immediately. 
  6. Anyone who has received such a call or email and is uncertain of his or her account status can call the City of Austin Utilities Customer Contact Center at 512-494-9400.

Austin Energy manages the City of Austin utility billing for water, electric, and other services.
 
Customers can make payments at the City’s two walk-in service centers or the following authorized locations: most Austin H-E-B stores, ACE Cash Express, Money Box, Fiesta Mart, and Randall's.
 
City of Austin walk-in service centers:

Utility Service Center (east branch) Rosewood-Zaragosa Center, 2800 Webberville Road, Suite 110, Austin, Texas 78702
Utility Customer Service Center (north branch), 8716 Research Blvd, Suite 115, Austin, Texas 78758 (near Ohlen Road and Highway 183) 

Staff at authorized locations will ask for the customer’s name, address, utility account number, or a combination of those identifiers before accepting payment. Balance information can only be provided to an account holder with a photo ID.

City of Austin utility customers who wish to make a utility bill payment by credit card can do so online at www.coautilities.com. City of Austin customer service representatives may give customers this web address or phone number but will NOT ask for a customer's credit card number to accept payment.   
 
Learn how to avoid phone scams.


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