Huntsville Utilities: Scammers Targeting Customers

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Many of you may need to hold onto your money tighter the next time you answer your telephone. Managers at Huntsville Utilities warn scammers are out there trying to take advantage of customers.

Huntsville Utilities say it's a sophisticated scam where phony calls come from someone claiming to be an employee of Huntsville Utilities. Officials say they call customers and tell them their electricity will be cut off unless money is paid immediately.

"We've been seeing these take place a year or more,” said Huntsville Utilities Spokesman Bill Yell.

Yell, the utility company’s spokesman, is not surprised.

Yell says scammers are not affecting only his company's customers, but utility customers all over Alabama.

"People are calling from a number and this one seems to be coming from the Gulf Coast area,” added Yell.

Yell says the phone number of choice, so far, is (251) 744-3669.

He believes the message causes many customers to worry, panic and react.

"It says you're going to be cut off.  Go down, get some cash cards and call this number,” added Yell.

Each call has the potential to net hundreds of dollars if successful.

It may surprise you who Yell says in the thieves cross-hairs.

"They seem to be targeting, right now, small businesses. We are seeing some on residential accounts, but a lot of them going after the small business owners,” added Yell.

Yell told WHNT News 19 the folks at Huntsville Utilities notify police and the North Alabama Better Business Bureau every time they hear a call happened. They recommend you do the same thing.