Scams are taking place where Santa Clara residents are receiving phone calls alerting them about the status of their utility bills and requesting payment for utility bills.
Customers are receiving calls from scam artists, requesting payment for utility bills or threatening to disconnect power. Calls are "spoofing" actual City phone numbers to make them look legitimate. Most recently, fraudsters are calling Santa Clara residents requesting payment by cash, credit or gift cards by going to the local Target.
THIS IS A SCAM.
This scam may be following a similar formula: The victim receives a call instilling panic and urgency to make a payment using cash, credit card or gift card. The callers may ask people to make payments over the phone for things such as utility bills, taxes, hospital bills, bail money and debt collection. The caller suggests the purchase of gift cards from the nearest retailer (e.g. Target, convenience store, electronics retailer, Rite Aid, etc.). After the cards have been purchased, the victim is asked to pay by sharing the 16-digit code on the back of the card with the caller over the phone.
If you receive such a call, hang up immediately. If you have been a victim of this or any other scam, file an online report (www.scpd.org) with the Santa Clara Police Department or call the Police Building at (408) 615-4700.
For more information on current, common scams, visit www.fraud.org