BPUB says utility scam reports increasing with pandemic

The Brownsville Public Utilities Board says it has has received an increase in scam reports from customers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

According to reports, scammers threatened to disconnect services if customers do not purchase a $350 prepaid card to pay them. In another case, two salesmen working for a solar company request information and access into customer homes. Reports indicate the salesmen do not have proper BPUB identification and are driving personal vehicles.

Currently, telephone scammers are using a technique called “spoofing” that disguises their caller ID to appear as BPUB’s main line. BPUB says it will never make unsolicited home visits requesting access into customer homes or call a customer requesting payment.

Customers can avoid being victimized if they:

– Ask for a contractor badge with the BPUB logo

– Verify the identity of anyone claiming to represent BPUB by calling (956) 983-6121

– Never allow anyone into their home to conduct unsolicited or non-scheduled inspections

– Never provide Social Security numbers, credit card numbers or bank account information

Unsolicited requests for property access, payments, personal information and bank routing numbers should be reported to the Brownsville Police Department at (956) 548-7000.