Owensboro, Ky. (WEHT)] Both Owensboro Municipal Utilities and the Daviess County Fire Department are being falsely used in a phone scam.
The utility company says scammers are “spoofing” their phone number, making it look like the call is coming from their office.
“These calls are very aggressive and so it’s almost like a bullying technique,” said Sonya Dixon, Communications and Public Relations Specialist at Owensboro Municipal Utilities.
Customers are also reporting threatening text messages, demanding they pay or their utilities get turned off.
“It really creates this sense of urgency,” Dixon said.
Utility companies deal with scams like this every year, but Dixon says this one feels different. She says they have already documented at least a thousand reports and expect that number to rise.
“They seem to be calling more people and they seem to be pushing harder when they make a call. But the sheer number of people they have contacted is mind blowing,” she said.
Scammers are also posing as the Daviess County Fire Department, asking residents to buy t-shirts for a fundraiser. Fire Chief Jeremy Smith says he’s worried because they have sold shirts in the past.
“We started some text messages and getting come calls at the station this morning,” he said, “The thing that is so bad about this is that we raised money Christmas Wish by selling Christmas shirts. So, we have been known to sell shirts in the past.”
Chief Smith says and when they do sell shirts, it will be posted on their official Facebook page.
“There’s a whole lot of people out there that I hope don’t get caught by the scam,” he said.
Officials say if you do happen to receive one of these calls or texts, hang up or delete it immediately. If you happen to fall victim to the scam, call your local police department.