Milwaukee Water Works officials issue warning about utility imposter targeting customers

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MILWAUKEE — Officials with Milwaukee Water Works are issuing a warning about a utility imposter targeting customers this past weekend.

According to Water Works officials, West Milwaukee police received several calls from people who reported that a man telephoned them posing as a bill collector for the Milwaukee Water Works. The imposter called asking residents for their payment and account information.

These scam calls were made when the Water Works customer service center was closed for the weekend.

Water Works officials are reminding customers that Water Works will only contact you via U.S. Postal Service mail — not by telephone.

In some cases, the utility may phone a commercial customer for meter-related work. Service calls are arranged in advance, though there may be a cold-call for meter exchange. If this is the case, the utility employee will arrive in a marked vehicle and present identification before asking to enter a building or home.

Water Works officials are offering these tips to protect yourself:

  • If someone calls you, do not provide information to them about any utility account over the telephone.
  • Do not open your door to someone you do not recognize. Do not allow anyone to enter your home if you are not sure of any person’s identity.
  • Milwaukee Water Works employees on duty drive marked City of Milwaukee vehicles.
  • Ask to see photo identification (I.D.) through a window. Utility employees and contractors carry photo I.D. Legitimate employees will be happy to show you their I.D., or call the utility to verify identification.
  • Call the Milwaukee Water Works Customer Service Center – (414) 286-2830 – if you are unsure about a person’s identification or to verify work to be done at your home. Call the police if you believe the person is an imposter.
  • Do not allow anyone to enter your home claiming to collect a past-due bill, make an inspection, or to sell utility products such as a meter or other equipment. Milwaukee Water Works employees do not engage in door-to-door sales, do not collect a past-due bill in person, and do not deliver rebates or refunds. All City of Milwaukee employees wear photo ID while on the job.
  • If a property owner calls the Milwaukee Water Works Customer Service Center and asks for an investigation into high water use or other water service-related issue, the utility may send an employee to a home or business. The utility also may send an employee to investigate high water use or a possible meter issue, or to replace a meter, without a customer-initiated service request. Again, these employees will readily show I.D. Call the utility to confirm there is work being done in your service area.
  • Share these reminders with your family members – children through grandparents – friends, and neighbors.