Straight from the Tap

How to Spot a Utility Scammer

11/18/2019

Utility scams tend to increase during the holiday season, which is why Utility Scam Awareness Day is recognized each year in November. We want to make sure our customers know what to look for in the event that someone calls or shows up at your home claiming to be a Cleveland Water employee.

Review the tips below to know how to recognize Cleveland Water employees coming to your home or contacting you.

At Your Door

  • All water employees are required to wear clothing that has the Cleveland Water logo on the left front of either their jacket or shirt.
  • Vehicles are white or blue and are marked with a Cleveland Water logo on the door or side of the vehicle.
  • All employees are issued Cleveland Water identification badges which must be worn and visible at all times while they are on duty.
  • If there is work being done near your home, an employee may knock on your door to notify you of the work and any disruptions to service. Otherwise, employees will only come to your home if an appointment has been scheduled (investigations, meter installations, etc.).
  • An employee will never collect your personal or financial information during an at-home appointment.
  • If you have any doubts about an individual trying to enter your home, do not let them in. Call 216-664-3130 or 216-664-3060 to confirm if it is a Cleveland Water employee.

Phone Calls

  • Scammers often request immediate payment by credit card, a prepaid card, or wire transfer and threaten to immediately disconnect service if it is not received. While our Credit and Collections team does contact customers on occasion, our Customer Service Representatives do not require immediate payment or a specific type of payment.
  • The majority of our credit and collections process is handled through official written correspondence. You will receive multiple letters and door notices if you're in danger of disconnection. And we're always willing to work with customers to establish payment plans and avoid disconnection.
  • Should you receive a call from Cleveland Water, you can always request more information about the caller and their purpose.
  • If you want to check to be sure it is a legitimate call, ask the caller for their name and extension and tell them that you will call them back immediately. Hang up and call the Cleveland Water Customer Service line at 216-664-3130.
  • If the caller refuses to provide you with more information, hang up and report the call and the caller’s name and phone number to your local police department. Never give personal or financial information to someone who you can't verify is an employee.

Emails

  • Cleveland Water will never send you an e-mail that you haven't signed up for through our web portal or website or directly requested from an employee (bill copy, final statement, etc.).
  • We will never require immediate payment or a specific type of payment or ask for financial or other sensitive information through an email.
  • Emails from our web portal and directly from employees will always end with “@clevelandwater.com.” And any links within an email will always send you to our website (clevelandwater.com) or the web portal (my.clevelandwater.com). Check the sender’s full email address – don’t just rely on the display name – and hover your mouse over links to see the actual URL.
  • Online payments should only be made through our secure web portal or one-time payment sites. Both of these can be accessed from clevelandwater.com.

Your safety is important to us. If you have any questions or concerns about someone contacting you claiming to be an employee of Cleveland Water, call us at 216-664-3130 or 216-664-3060. We'll verify whether work is scheduled at your home, your account status, and the identity of the employee contacting you. And if you are approached or contacted by a scammer, report it to your local police immediately.

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