The Ellwood City Police Department issued the following warning to area residents:
The Police Department has received inquiries about a possible scam involving local utilities (Electric, Gas, Water and Sewage). A resident reported receiving a call (Red Flag #1) that their utility bill was past due and their utility would be shut off if the individual didn’t WIRE MONEY (Red flag #2) to them in the next 20 minutes (Red Flag #3). The individual made contact with the Utility Company to discover that they would not contact them in such a manner to get payment on a past due account. The call originated from a (888) 488-3329, Extension #1. The caller stated his name was Raul.
Police warn residents to be cautious and verify any type of inquiry that involves transferring/wiring money. Residents should obtained information from their paper Utility billing information and contact the utility Company directly from information on the bill to verify the authenticity of the call. Do not accept the callers information as the truth, hang up and call the utility on verified phone numbers obtained from your paper bill you receive in the mail.
The Police Department receives inquiries about possible scams everyday, residents should be cautious of any unsolicited phone calls involving the wiring of money or payment with the use of gift cards. Never transfer/wire money or obtain gift cards to make a payment to unsolicited calls. Follow the basic rule/adage of “if it sounds too good to be true, it is probably a fraud.”