WOOD RIVER — The city of Wood River has received calls from residents concerning a phone scam in recent weeks.
Con artists are attempting to persuade residents to pay their water bill over the phone by asking them to provide a debit or credit card number or checking account information. The callers identify themselves as employees of the water or finance department.
Wood River Police Chief Otis Steward said he is glad no one has fallen victim.
“The complaints we’ve received have been involving just our citizens’ water bills,” Steward said. “We haven’t received many reports, but they’re all the same; someone is claiming they are from the finance office or the water department and instructing people they can pay their bill over the phone with a debit, credit or check. I think with technology today people are more informed and know that is not how we conduct our business.”
Wood River residents are able to pay their water bill at the City Hall water department office with cash or check or they can make a secure payment through the city’s website.
“We’ve been very fortunate that we haven’t had anyone taken by these scammers,” Wood River City Manager Jim Schneider said. “We haven’t had a ton of complaints, but we’re sure there are people out there who haven’t reported an incident as well. If anyone is contacted to pay a city bill over the phone, they need to file a report and let us know.”
The scam appears to be isolated to Wood River at this time.
If residents receive a phone call requesting payment over the phone, they should notify the police department or city clerk. Residents who want to make their payments online can visit www.woodriver.org and find the finance tab under services.
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