Otay Warns Customers of Threatening Calls by Scam Artists
The Otay Water District advises its customers to stay alert against threatening phone call scams. Recently, customers of water agencies throughout San Diego County have reported receiving calls that involve a caller demanding immediate credit card payment for their water bill and threatening to shut off their water if not paid instantly.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, scammers will often ask you to pay in a way that makes it hard for you to get your money back – by wiring money, putting money on a gift card, prepaid card or cash reload card, or using a money transfer app. The FTC says anyone who asks you to pay that way is a scammer.
Water agencies in the county, including the Otay Water District, do not make phone threats for immediate credit card payments. Typically, before disconnecting a customer’s water service, the District will send one or more notifications via phone, email, and/or mail. Also, per an executive order issued by Governor Gavin Newsom on April 2, 2020, water agencies statewide are prohibited from disconnecting service to water customers during the coronavirus pandemic. However “nothing in this Order eliminates the obligation of water customers to pay for water service, prevents a water system from charging a customer for such service, or reduces the amount a customer already may owe to a water system.”
If ever in doubt about someone claiming to work for the Otay Water District, call the District at (619) 670-2222.
Don’t be fooled by scam calls! Hang up. Utility scams pop up periodically across the region and take many forms.