City of Flint Warns Residents about Scam Involving Criminals Impersonating City Works, Seeking Payments
Flint, Michigan – April 17, 2015 – The City of Flint wants to warn residents of a scam that being perpetrated against its residents. Scammers are using various tactics in attempts to dupe City of Flint water customers into providing payment by offering to provide water services in exchange for a cash payment. Customers should be made aware that the Flint Water Service employees do not accept payments on site for their services.
In the last week, a report was received about a person wearing what appeared to be a City service uniform who had a water “turn on” list and who used a key to turn on the customer’s water for $200 and removed the meter. The employee imposter was on foot, saying that their City truck was parked around the corner.
A second customer reported that two men wearing what appeared to be City service worker uniforms and driving what looked like a city truck spoke with a customer and offered to connect her water and provide her a replacement water meter for $250 in cash. The customer wisely declined and reported the incident to the Flint Customer Service Center (phone number: 810-766-7015).
The City offers the following tips for customers to thwart scammers:
- If it just doesn’t feel right, “slam the scam” and end the conversation.
- Never give out personal information or credit card numbers or wire money as a result of an unexpected or unsolicited call or email if you cannot validate the authenticity. City employees will never ask for in person payment in the field or for personal information such as credit card numbers over the phone or by email.
- Be suspicious if the caller is insisting on the use of cash or a pre-paid debit card or an immediate payment. Utilities provide many options for payment.
Pursuant to Chapter 1 of Part II of the Flint City Code of Ordinances, unauthorized parties who tamper with city water system equipment are subject to be prosecuted at a minimum of a misdemeanor and may be sentenced to pay a fine of five hundred dollars $500 and/or subject to imprisonment. Any citizen suspecting scammers or witnessing possible water theft are encouraged to call the Flint Customer Service Center at 810-766-7470.