Rochelle – Rochelle Municipal Utilities is warning customers about utility scams in the area. Customers are receiving phone calls from individuals that appear to be part of a scam designed to obtain personal information and/or money from customers. The calls are not authorized by RMU.
The scammer often becomes angry and tells a customer his or her account is past due, and service will be shut off if a large payment isn’t made – usually within less than an hour.
The scammer instructs the customer to purchase a prepaid debit or credit card – widely available at most retail stores – then call him or her back to supposedly make a payment.
The scammer asks the customer for the prepaid card’s receipt number and PIN, which grants instant access to the funds loaded to the card.
How to protect yourself
Utility representatives will never ask a customer with a past due balance to purchase a prepaid debit card to avoid disconnection.
Never provide social security numbers or personal information to anyone initiating contact with you claiming to be a utility representative or requesting you to send money to another person.
Never make payment for services to anyone coming to the door.
RMU is urging customers not to respond to these fake calls. Customers who have received such calls can report them to the Attorney General Office’s Consumer Fraud Hotline at 1-800-386-5438 or the RMU Customer Service office at 815-562-4155.