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Homestead Warns of Utility Phone Scams

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Posted: Friday, November 3, 2017 12:00 am | Updated: 10:01 am, Fri Nov 3, 2017.

   The City of Homestead would like to alert its residents about a scam that has been reported by Homestead Public Services customers. A supposed utilities representative calls a home or business and asks customers to make a utility payment over the phone by credit card or with a prepaid card or money order they are instructed to purchase.  The call is reported as coming from (855) 828-4226.

   Scammers, posing as representatives of the city’s utilities department, are targeting both residential and business customers. Perpetrators of this scam are telling customers their account is past due and that they are required to pay immediately or their services will be disconnected that day. They often request personal information such as bank account and social security numbers, with the promise of expediting payment.

   Under no circumstance does Homestead Public Services ever call its customers to request a payment over the phone. These scammers are also taking to social media and traditional mail in an attempt to dupe the public out of their money and, in the most brazen cases, have been reported as showing up at a resident’s doorstep.

   If you receive a call from someone stating they represent the Homestead Public Services (water, sewer, electric, or solid waste) and they ask you to provide them payment information over the phone, we recommend that you terminate the call and contact Homestead Customer Service at (305) 224-4800. We urge all our customers to never provide their personal information to strangers or provide payment when they receive a call.

   If you think you may have been a victim of this or another scam, you may contact the authorities listed below:

• Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs: 1-800-HELP-FLA

• Financial Crimes Enforcement Network: 1-800-767-2825

• Federal Trade Commission: 1-877-FTC-HELP

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