Utility Scam Targets Cuyahoga County Residents


a close up of a computer screen: Scammers are posing as utility workers and threatening to shutoff service to Northeast Ohioans.

© Shutterstock Scammers are posing as utility workers and threatening to shutoff service to Northeast Ohioans.

CLEVELAND — Scam artists are posing as utility workers and threatening to disconnect Cuyahoga County residents.

The Cuyahoga County Department of Consumer Affairs alerted residents to the scam this week, asking them to hang up on anyone threatening to shut off your utilities.

“The safest thing to do with these calls is ignore them and report them,” said Sheryl Harris, the director of Consumer Affairs. “Answering or—worse, calling back—may result in more calls.”

Utility disconnection scams target both residents and businesses. The calls often spike before weekends or holidays. Scammers have also been offering customers a utility “refund” or “discount” to get private payment information.

Consumer Affairs said residents:

  • Should not accept gift cards, money wires or Bitcoin payments
  • Should never share Social Security numbers or private banking information with anyone who calls you
  • Should contact utility providers if they have questions about their bill. Never use the callback numbers provided in robocalls

Anyone who encounters one of these scammers should contact Cuyahoga County’s Scam Squad by calling 216-443-SCAM (7226) or use the online reporting form at consumeraffairs.cuyahogacounty.us.

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