Lafayette Utility Systems administrators are warning customers of a phone scammers who threaten to terminate utilities because of late payments.

LUS spokesperson Kayla Miles said the caller(s) inform their targets that utility servicemen are en route to shut off utility service unless the customers call an 800 number to make a payment. The phone number being used is 1-800-586-9143.

Miles reported the Federal Trade Commission warns citizens scammers can use computers to manipulate their call location. Customers who receive a call demanding payments via PayPal, prepaid cash cards or gift cards can assume they are being targets of a scam.

LUS offered the following tips on identifying scams:

  • When a payment is past due, LUS customers are sent friendly reminders via automated calls or mailed post cards.
  • Before a bill status is discussed with a customer, account verification is ALWAYS required.
  • When customers speak with an LUS Customer Service Representative, they may be given the option to pay over the phone, but that process will NEVER be performed by a live person.
  • The automated methods LUS provides for our costumer to pay a bill would NEVER include methods of payment such as Paypal, Western Union, or GreenDot.  If you get a call, email, text, or even a visit from someone telling you to make a utility bill payment, and you believe it could be a scam, contact your utility company on the phone number that appears on your bill, describe what happened, and report the scammers to the Federal Trade Commission and your local law enforcement.