Beware of callers pretending to be from Utilities Kingston and demanding immediate payment for utilities, according to both police and the local utilities provider.
Kingston Police and Utilities Kingston are warning the public of a new phone scam that has been reported by several Utilities Kingston customers, as well as other utilities providers and customers across the province.
Utilities Kingston customers are reportedly receiving phone calls from scammers using a 1-800 number. Once contacted, the customers are threatened with having their utility services disconnected if they do not provide a cash payment immediately.
“In the most recent reported case, the scammers instructed a customer to make a payment at a Bitcoin machine at a local mall,” Kingston Police said in a press release dated Thursday, Apr. 4, 2019.
“From speaking with Kingston Utilities customers who have experienced monetary loss due to this scam, it appears they are targeting business owners where English language skills may be a barrier.”
Kingston Police and Utilities Kingston have provided the following tips for customers id they should receive a suspicious call:
- Do not provide any personal information, including Utilities Kingston or credit card account numbers.
- Collect any information possible about the caller.
- Report the incident to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501. This agency collects information on fraud and works closely with police to solve these crimes.
- If you become a victim of fraud through monetary loss, call Kingston Police at 613-549-4660.
- Utilities Kingston does not place calls from, or solicit calls to, a 1-800 number. Those with overdue accounts receive multiple notices prior to any disconnection and Utilities Kingston always delivers a Final Notice prior to any disconnection. Utilities Kingston requests overdue accounts be paid at City Hall, via Paymentus, its third-party credit card payment provider, or by contacting credit and collections at 613-546-1181, extension 2278.