Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Utility Bill Scam Continues

City of Austin utility customers, including small businesses, continue to report either getting telephone calls or individuals walking into their businesses claiming they are overdue on their City of Austin utility bill and unless they pay immediately, utility services will be disconnected.

No City of Austin personnel or City contract personnel in the field ever collect payments for utility services or any other City of Austin service. This applies to any City of Austin employee, including those with Austin Energy, Austin Water, Austin Resource Recovery or any other City department. Also, remember, any City of Austin employee should always have their City ID. Should you be approached by anyone demanding a payment for City of Austin services, call the City of Austin Customer Service Center at 512-494-9400.

In the case of telephone calls, scammers demanding payment on utility accounts are asking for credit card information, or they suggest the customer go buy a money card in the amount owed and call back with the card number.

The City of Austin will never ask for credit card or prepaid card information over the telephone.

In general, any customer who receives a call asking for financial information should always decline and call the entity in question using telephone numbers provided by the entity. The telephone number for the City of Austin Customer Service Center is 512-494-9400.

Likewise, if a customer receives a call from the City of Austin regarding a utility bill, the number on the customer’s telephone caller ID will always be 494-9400. If the customer sees another number, they should hang up and call 494-9400 to inquire if there is a question regarding their account.

Making Payments

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. That telephone number connects the customer to the City of Austin’s automated utilities payment service (Bill Matrix) which allows the customer to make a payment via credit or debit card or electronic check. There is a fee for payment of a City of Austin utility bill by credit card. The fee goes to the credit card processor, not to the City of Austin.
Customers can pay City of Austin utility bills in a number of ways. There are two City of Austin walk-in customer service centers, which are open Monday through Friday from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.:

Utility Customer Service Center (east branch)
Rosewood-Zaragosa Center
2800 Webberville Road
Austin, Texas 78702

Utility Customer Service Center (north branch)
8716 Research Blvd, Suite 115
(near Ohlen Road and Highway 183)
Austin, Texas 78758

City of Austin utility customers can also make utility bill payments at the customer service counters of virtually any Austin HEB, ACE Cash Express and Money Box.

Citizens who receive a telephone inquiry demanding financial information such as credit card numbers for any reason, should report the call to Austin 3-1-1 as a non-emergency report that will go to the Austin Police Department.

1 comment:

  1. Calling 311 does nothing unless you have made a payment to his fraudulent collection agency. They rudely hung up on me. Urge your customers to provide as much information to your company as possible; take matters into your own hands, APD is not helping your case and your customers are getting the pooch.