Scammers Target City of Buford Customers
1. What is the national
utility phone scam?
Across the country, utility
customers are receiving calls from unspecified individuals claiming to be
members of the local utility and threatening to disconnect the customer’s
electrical services if he or she does not make an immediate payment on a past
due bill. They then direct the customer to transfer funds electronically,
sometimes through money wiring systems or pre-paid cards.
The callers often use
sophisticated spoofing technology to replicate the local utility’s name and
number on the customer’s caller ID box, making it particularly difficult for
the customer to spot this scam.
2. What should you do if
you receive one of these calls?
City of Buford does not call
customers demanding immediate payment from customers over the phone. You
shouldn't give your personal information to strangers. If a call sounds
suspicious, hang-up and call 678-889-4600 or 770-945-6761 to speak directly
with a City of Buford customer service representative.
If you believe you are a
victim of this scam, you should notify the proper authorities, such as the
local police or the state attorney general's office.
3. How can I monitor and/or
pay my City of Buford bill?
You should only use authorized methods
and legitimate banking information to pay your City of Buford bill. We offer several convenient ways:
by phone - Pay your bill by credit card, debit card or electronic check by
calling 1-866-955-0568. Paymentus, our pay-by-phone provider, will charge
a $3.50 service fee. Paymentus is the only authorized credit card
vendor authorized to process these types of payments.
by credit/debit card/Check - Pay your bill with a credit card, debit card
or electronic check through the Online City of Buford
website via Paymentus, for a $3.50 service fee.
payment - Pay your bill in person at the Buford City Hall with cash, check,
credit card or money order. City
Hall also has a drive through window and an after hours drop box.
Auto pay bank draft – after signing up
with the City, automatically deduct your bill payment from your checking
account each month. We'll mail a monthly billing statement to you for your records, showing the bill amount.
Pay by mail - Send check by
U.S. Mail to the remittance address shown on your bill.
4. How can we protect our
business from fraudulent claims?
Inform your employees and
provide instructions for dealing with these calls. The methods that the
con artists are using continue to evolve making it difficult to track and
stop. Your best defense is a good proactive offense.
5. What areas and/or
businesses are affected by the scam?
Small businesses tend to currently
be the primary target, however over the years the
scam has evolved to target multiple segments of the general population.