Protect Yourself from Utility Scams
From time to time, our customers report suspicious calls, email or text messages from someone claiming to be from SCV Water. These messages often contain threats to shut off your water if you don’t pay a bill. Even worse, scammers “spoof” phone numbers and email addresses, so it looks as if it’s us contacting you.
SCV Water customers are not alone. Every day, utility customers throughout the country are targeted by scams. Most times, these calls and texts request payments or personal information, such as your social security number or credit card details, and threaten that your water will be turned off if you don’t comply.
As of April 2022, shutoffs for non-payment have resumed. If someone on the phone is threatening to shut off your water, it is definitely not us.
When paying your bill, please only use one of SCV Water’s official payment methods. If you have a late payment, our Customer Care team may call you to follow up and remind you that your payment is overdue. Our team does not personally process payments or ask for/accept bank or credit card info. If we call you about an overdue payment, we may transfer you to the phone payment line to make a payment. If you are unsure if this is a call from us, please hang up and call us back on our customer care line at 661-294-0828. If someone calls or emails you and directs you to use any other website or option, it is a scam.
Ways to Recognize Scams
Here are some ways to recognize scams:
- Telephone Scams
- Scammers may use automated voice-response systems that are similar to genuine pay-by-phone services, like the one used through SCV Water. If you are unsure if this is a call from us, please hang up and call us back on our customer care line at 661-294-0828.
Scammers can become annoyed or threatening if you refuse to cooperate. This should be a sure sign that it is not one of our SCV Water team members on the phone, so don’t be afraid to hang up on them.
Suspicious automated calls may ask you to push buttons on your phone to establish that you are a live person. Hang up immediately if you receive this type of call.
- Credit Card/Gift Card Scams
- Scammers will request that you pay them by transferring funds out of your bank account or paying with a gift card or pre-paid credit card. We will never ask you to pay your bill this way.
- Email Scams
- Scammers have been known to contact customers via email. Remember, we will never request payment outside of our official payment methods. Our Agency sends our e-bill customers a monthly notification that contains a pdf attachment of the bill. If you receive any suspicious emails claiming to be from us, please contact our customer care line, and we can verify if the email was authentic. Don’t delete the email, as we might ask you to forward it to us, so we can work to stop the scammer.
- Other Payment Scams
If someone knocks at your door demanding money, it’s not us.
Federal Trade Commission
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reports that hundreds of millions of dollars are lost each year to scams, especially since the tactics and tricks scammers use continue to change. If something feels off about an interaction with someone alleging that they are with SCV Water, please stop engaging with them immediately and call our customer care line at 661-294-0828 for assistance.
If you have been scammed, A detailed explanation of what to do can be found on the FTC website.