Columbia Police Department warns of utility bill phone scam

5 months 2 weeks 2 days ago November 09, 2016 Nov 9, 2016 Wednesday, November 09 2016 Wednesday, November 09, 2016 7:10:00 PM CST in Continuous News
By: Claire Kopsky, KOMU 8 Reporter

COLUMBIA- The Columbia Police Department is warning people about a new phone scam.

CPD took to Facebook, posting that someone is calling business owners, saying they're calling from Columbia Water and Light.

The scammer contacts the business to say its utility bill is past due. They say in order to keep the electricity turned on, the owner needs to go to Walmart to get an American Express voucher for $500. Additionally, the scammer offers businesses to pay the bill over the phone with a debit or credit card.

When asked to identify the businesses who received the phone call, the Columbia Police Department said it has no further information.

Columbia’s Water and Light Department’s Columbia Utilities Assistant Director Jim Windsor confirmed the city is not calling people for overdue bills.

"If there is a human asking you for money, it is not from the City of Columbia because regardless of what they’re telling you, our crews do not accept money. Even if you were going to be cut off, our crew are instructed not to take money," said Windsor.

He also expressed why customers may be inclined to give into this type of scam over others.

Windsor said, "If somebody thinks they’re going to have their utilities shut off, that’s kind of a motivation to say, you know, 'my gosh, I need to give some money.'"

When a bill is due, Windsor said customers have multiple options to pay, inclduing coming to the cashier's office inside the city building, submitting their payment in the dropbox, paying online or calling it in through their phone system.

The City of Columbia has experienced this kind of scam before. Windsor said it happens especially when the weather changes and customers might have a large bill due.

Until the scam subsides, the city is reminding residents not to give personal information over the phone.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department beat commanders hosted their first beat meeting with the northeast Columbia community for the... More >>
1 hour ago April 27, 2017 Apr 27, 2017 Thursday, April 27 2017 Thursday, April 27, 2017 10:24:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri House members want more information on how much money the state is paying in lawsuit... More >>
3 hours ago April 27, 2017 Apr 27, 2017 Thursday, April 27 2017 Thursday, April 27, 2017 7:48:03 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The Missouri Senate has passed a bond measure for a new music and dance conservatory at... More >>
3 hours ago April 27, 2017 Apr 27, 2017 Thursday, April 27 2017 Thursday, April 27, 2017 7:43:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A Columbia woman pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court to embezzling $231,600 from her employer, Shelter Insurance... More >>
5 hours ago April 27, 2017 Apr 27, 2017 Thursday, April 27 2017 Thursday, April 27, 2017 6:12:00 PM CDT in News
CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) — A Honduran man who entered the United States illegally three times has pleaded guilty to kidnapping... More >>
6 hours ago April 27, 2017 Apr 27, 2017 Thursday, April 27 2017 Thursday, April 27, 2017 5:25:40 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Som e Missouri lawmakers want to shield lodging websites such as Airbnb from local ordinances that... More >>
6 hours ago April 27, 2017 Apr 27, 2017 Thursday, April 27 2017 Thursday, April 27, 2017 5:16:31 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA (AP) — The four-campus Unive rsity of Missouri s ystem is proposing raising tuition and required fees of in-state... More >>
6 hours ago April 27, 2017 Apr 27, 2017 Thursday, April 27 2017 Thursday, April 27, 2017 5:04:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri released new and revised policies relating to protests and free speech on campus, including... More >>
7 hours ago April 27, 2017 Apr 27, 2017 Thursday, April 27 2017 Thursday, April 27, 2017 4:10:00 PM CDT in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A woman is accused in southw estern Missouri of drunkenly causing a fatal car crash in December.... More >>
7 hours ago April 27, 2017 Apr 27, 2017 Thursday, April 27 2017 Thursday, April 27, 2017 4:09:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - A police chase in Callaway County ended in a crash and a foot pursuit Thursday. It started... More >>
7 hours ago April 27, 2017 Apr 27, 2017 Thursday, April 27 2017 Thursday, April 27, 2017 3:43:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Boone County's iconic "Big Tree" is being damaged by vandals spray painting its base, according to its owner,... More >>
7 hours ago April 27, 2017 Apr 27, 2017 Thursday, April 27 2017 Thursday, April 27, 2017 3:37:50 PM CDT in 8 Goes Green
COLUMBIA - Three suspects were in custody Thursday afternoon on suspicion of stealing, following a joint investigation by the Boone... More >>
8 hours ago April 27, 2017 Apr 27, 2017 Thursday, April 27 2017 Thursday, April 27, 2017 3:15:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) kicked off its state music festival Thursday, drawing thousands of... More >>
9 hours ago April 27, 2017 Apr 27, 2017 Thursday, April 27 2017 Thursday, April 27, 2017 2:21:00 PM CDT in News
OZARK (AP) — The last of three people accused in the 2014 shooting death of a sout hwest Missouri man... More >>
9 hours ago April 27, 2017 Apr 27, 2017 Thursday, April 27 2017 Thursday, April 27, 2017 1:51:00 PM CDT in News
JACKSONVILLE, Mo. - Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers responded to a car driving the wrong way in the northbound lanes... More >>
9 hours ago April 27, 2017 Apr 27, 2017 Thursday, April 27 2017 Thursday, April 27, 2017 1:47:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri State Senate sent a $27.8 billion operating budget back to the House Thursday after multiple... More >>
10 hours ago April 27, 2017 Apr 27, 2017 Thursday, April 27 2017 Thursday, April 27, 2017 1:05:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The Missouri Senate has passed a school choice bill that would create education savings accounts for... More >>
11 hours ago April 27, 2017 Apr 27, 2017 Thursday, April 27 2017 Thursday, April 27, 2017 12:34:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri loca l governments no longer would be able to mandate union working conditions for construction... More >>
11 hours ago April 27, 2017 Apr 27, 2017 Thursday, April 27 2017 Thursday, April 27, 2017 12:32:00 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 55°
12am 54°
1am 54°
2am 53°
3am 52°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

10:35p
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
11:37p
Late Night with Seth Meyers
12:37a
Last Call with Carson Daly
11:30p
Rules of Engagement
12:00a
Raising Hope
12:30a
Cheaters

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Superstore
7:30p
Superstore
8:00p
Chicago Med
9:00p
The Blacklist
7:00p
Supernatural
8:00p
Riverdale
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld