Homestead Public Service customers are reporting calls from unscrupulous solicitors posing as the city’s utilities department. This year they are specially targeting business owners and Spanish-speaking customers. Perpetrators of this particular scam are telling customers their last bill payment was returned and that they are required to pay immediately or their services will be disconnected in 30 minutes. They often request personal information such as bank account and social security numbers with the promise of expediting an outstanding 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 showing up at a resident’s doorstep.
If you receive a call from someone stating they represent the utilities (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
• Financial Crimes Enforcement Network
• Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force
• Federal Trade Commission