BROWNSVILLE, TX – The Brownsville Public Utilities Board (BPUB) warns customers about people claiming to work for or on behalf of BPUB calling customers and demanding payments.

 

According to reports, a person posing as a BPUB employee calls a customer and demands a payment for an outstanding bill. The caller instructs the customer to call a number and make a payment with a pre-paid card or credit card or says someone will pick up the payment. Upon calling the number, customers may hear the same welcome recording used on BPUB’s official phone line, but pressing keys associated with the prompts will only send customers to a live operator demanding payment.

 

Customers also report the number appearing on the caller ID is sometimes spoofed to match BPUB’s number. BPUB does not use live operators to make collection calls or request payments for other services, like repairs. Customers behind on payments may receive a call with a recorded message regarding a past due balance, but customers are never asked to make a payment through an unsolicited phone call. BPUB operators are instructed to never take payment information from customers during a call.

 

Customers can avoid being victimized if they:

  • Never provide Social Security numbers, credit card numbers or bank account information to anyone who requests it during an unsolicited call.
  • Verify collection requests and calls from anyone claiming to represent BPUB by calling (956) 983-6121.
  • Make payments only to a BPUB cashier, on the BPUB website, at a registered pay station or through the automated phone service. Go to the BPUB website for a list of authorized BPUB pay stations.

 

Unsolicited requests for property access, payments, personal information and bank routing numbers should be reported to the Brownsville Police Department at (956) 548-7000 or by visiting the nearest community police station.