The City of Austin Utilities is warning local customers that someone claiming to be from the company or Austin Energy, is demanding utility bill payment from customers within an hour, or else risk their power being shut off.
The calls reportedly come from a 1-866 number and the caller asks for a credit card, gift card or bank account information over the phone to complete a payment and avoid utility shut off.
Austin Energy manages the City of Austin utility billing for water, electricity and other services.
The City of Austin has included these tips to keep customers in-the-know about their utility bill:
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.
The utility advises that customers can make payments at the city’s two walk-in service centers or the following authorized locations: most Austin Austin H-E-B stores, ACE Cash Express, Money Box, Fiesta Mart and Randall’s.
City of Austin walk-in service centers:
Staff at authorized locations will ask to see the customer’s utility bill statement before accepting payment.
City of Austin utility customers who wish to make a utility bill payment by credit card can do so online at www.coautilities.com or by calling 800-959-7063, which connects the customer to the City of Austin’s automated utilities payment service (Bill Matrix) to make a payment via credit or debit card or electronic check.
A news release states that 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.
In addition, anyone who has received such a call and is uncertain of his or her account status can call the City of Austin Utilities Customer Contact Center at 512-494-9400.
For more information on how to avoid phone scams, visit https://austinenergy.com/ae/commercial/report-a-problem/report-telephone-scams.