Scam targeting Benton Utilities customers

Staff Writer

Benton Utilities desires to notify residents and businesses in the area of a scam.  An unknown company is calling, texting and emailing utility customers identifying themselves as a Benton Utilities employees, demanding payment or services will be shut off. The individuals provide a “case” number. When the customer asks for a phone number to return the call, it usually results in the caller hanging up. If the caller gives a number, it may be a 1-800 number for a utility service provider in another state. This establishment is not, in any way, affiliated with the city of Benton or Benton Utilities. 
 
Scammers are targeting utility customers in this area and these customers are not limited to Benton Utilities Customers. Most of the reports of these calls we have been made aware of were to local businesses. 
 
Con artists give these customers a call and say that their electric bill payment is past due, and that their service will be disconnected within the hour if they do not pay. Then they are directed to transfer funds electronically.
 
Benton Utilities recommends anyone receiving such a call to contact their utility company via phone number listed on a bill with any questions regarding account issues. Benton Utilities billing department does not contact customers via phone to inform them they are past due. Customers are always sent a past due notice before disconnecting service for nonpayment. Benton Utilities also does not call customers to request payment. A servicemen is dispatched to the location to disconnect or collect payments. Do not give account information or payment information to someone that make contact via phone.   
Anyone who receives one of these calls may also call law enforcement 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, customers are priority. Benton Utilities feels it imperative to notify each customer of this scam. This alleged company is smart in its scamming practices and Benton Utilities does not want its customers to fall victim to their misleading practices. Any customer who receives one of these calls can call 501-776-5923 to confirm their account status.

Category: