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Edwardsville police warning of utility service phone scam

Police said the callers were using phone spoofing to make it appear they are calling from local government offices.
Credit: Yojak Vasa - stock.adobe.com
phone screen displaying a list of received Scam Risk phone calls

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. — The Edwardsville Police Department issued a warning this week about a scam aimed at utility customers in the area.

According to a Facebook post, residents have reported getting calls from people offering to reimburse residents for utility services. Police said the calls are not authentic and residents should never provide a credit card or bank information to strangers over the phone.

Police said the callers were using phone spoofing to make it appear they are calling from local government offices.

"If you are concerned about your utility services, contact your provider via a number on your bill," the post said.

The Federal Trade Commission has this advice when it comes to unwanted calls and phone scams:

How To Stop Calls From Scammers

Hang up

Even if it’s not a scammer calling, when a company is calling you illegally, it’s not a company you want to do business with. When you get a robocall, don't press any numbers. Instead of letting you speak to a live operator or remove you from their call list, it might lead to more robocalls.

Consider call blocking or call labeling

Scammers can use the internet to make calls from all over the world. They don’t care if you’re on the National Do Not Call Registry. That’s why your best defense against unwanted calls is call blocking. Which type of call-blocking or call-labeling technology you use will depend on the phone — whether it’s a cell phone, a traditional landline, or a home phone that makes calls over the internet (VoIP). See what services your phone carrier offers, and look online for expert reviews. For cell phones, you also can check out the reviews for different call-blocking apps in your online app store.

Don’t trust your caller ID

Scammers can make any name or number show up on your caller ID. That’s called spoofing. So even if it looks like it’s a government agency like the Social Security Administration calling, or like the call is from a local number, it could be a scammer calling from anywhere in the world.

Learn more about unwanted calls and what to do about them at ftc.gov/calls.

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