Manatee County Utilities warns customers of new scam

Manatee County Utilities warns customers of new scam

SARASOTA (WWSB) - Another scam is targeting the Suncoast, this time claiming to be the Manatee County Utilities Department.

The scammers then ask for the account information, but government officials want to make sure customers know not to give it to them.

These scammers are getting creative, so it’s more important now more than ever for consumers to catch the suspicious signs.

The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office recommends customers never give any payment over the phone, unless they have called the number listed on their bill itself.

This new scam calls customers claiming to be a representative from the Manatee County Utilities Department and asks for the person’s account information, saying that their balance is past due.

Utilities staff said no one from the County will ask a customer for banking or credit card information, because they do not even accept payments over the phone.

“No one should ever give any type of financial information or personal information to someone who’s on the phone," said Amy Pilson, strategic affairs manager for Manatee County Government Utilities. "If a customer receives that type of phone call, they are more than welcome to call our office at 941-792-8811.”

But it’s not just Utilities, staff said to beware of scammers claiming to be other entities too.

“It ranges from the IRS, down to public records from the County Courthouse, even to water quality," said Pilson. "There are people who are going to try to disguise themselves as a business or entity that people respect or trust.”

The Crime Prevention Unit at the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office is investigating this and asks that anyone who gets a suspicious call report it to them as well.

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