The City of Tampa Utilities department has issued a consumer alert after a customer reported being targeted by a man posing as a water department employee, according to a news release from the city.
The imposter reportedly knocked on the customer’s door and threatened to shut off water service unless he received payment immediately. The customer did not pay, and the imposter left, the release says.
The water department wants to remind customers that all notices, including notices for overdue balances and shutoff notices, are sent in writing through the mail or via email for e-bill customers.
Customers also may be contacted over the phone regarding overdue bills, the release adds.
Authorized payment methods are listed on the back of the utility bill.
“We’ve seen different types of scams pop up over the years, preying on people’s fears,” Eli Franco, director of water operations, said in the release. “We want residents to know that we do not send city employees to knock on people’s doors to perform collection activities. We also remind residents that they can always contact our office directly to confirm that they are speaking with a city employee.”
Water department employees are required to show proper identification and operate vehicles that display the city logo and other official markings.
Any contractors working on behalf of the department also are required to display identifying credentials, the release says.
Water department officials urge customers to report similar incidents, or verify their account status, by calling 813-274-8811.
Anyone who believes they have fallen victim to this scam should contact the Tampa Police Department by calling 813-231-6130.
Published March 08, 2023