Scammers are targeting utility customers in Tacoma demanding they meet a “utility worker” at their meter box or local business to make payment on their account. The scammers tell customers that their account is delinquent by $1,000 or more and threaten to shut utilities off immediately if payment isn’t made. Instead of making payment over the phone, customers are told to purchase pre-paid debit cards at a local convenience store or obtain cash and then meet up.
Although there have been no instances reported by Everett Utility customers, the utility urges all customers to remain vigilant regarding questionable collection practices. This scam poses a danger to customers’ finances and to their physical safety. Do not comply with the demand to meet in person or to pay with a pre-paid card.
City of Everett utility services will never ask customers to meet face-to-face out in the community, and customers will never be asked to purchase pre-paid debit cards for payment. Everett utility customers are encouraged to call the utility billing office to work out payment arrangements; they are never threatened.
The utility sends customers a friendly reminder the day after their accounts are overdue, and a yellow disconnect notice is hung on the customer’s door before water is shut off. Once the yellow notice is hung, customers have two days to pay their bill or work out payment arrangements.
If someone contacts you demanding face-to-face payment for a delinquent water utility bill, please end the call and report it to Everett Police (425-407-3999) and Everett Utility Billing office (425-257-8999).