MLGW warns customers
against utility bill scam

Sophisticated scammers have been calling MLGW customers to demand payments and threaten service cut-offs.  The problem was severe enough over the past several months to prompt the municipal utility company to send a "scam alert" letter of warning to customers this month.   

The fraudsters are targeting small businesses and nonprofit organizations. They move their operations around and have hit others cities as well as Memphis.

"During 2016, every few months scammers targeted a swath of small businesses or local organizations in full force," wrote Jerry Collins Jr., MLGW president/CEO. "Scammers called many of our customers in the Lakeland and Arlington area. Previously they hit Cordova, Bartlett and Memphis."
Sometimes the scammers claim a "truck is on the way right now" to turn off service unless the person call makes a payment immediately on the phone and usually by buying prepaid cards. Often, the perpetrators know the amount on the current or previous month's bill.
Here's what MLGW says to do: hang up on such a call. Check it out. Report the call.
MLGW also said the utility will:
  • Never demand payments or threaten to cut off services over the phone.
  • Never tell a customer to buy a prepaid debit card.
  • Always mail a cutoff notice.
  • Always use automatic dialing to alert customers that a payment is due by a certain date to avoid end of service.
As always, anyone with information about people attempting to cheat others with this kind of operation can call CrimeStoppers on the tips line, 528-CASH (2274). Information remains anonymous and will be passed to investigators.

Citizen tips continued to help
solve murders in December

Five people were arrested in December in three separate homicides thanks to tips to CrimeStoppers that helped investigators break the cases. It was good news in a year that saw a record number of slayings.
Although the volume of calls were down slightly during the month compared to the same month a year ago, 22 successful tips led to a total of 32 felony arrests, and more than $8,000 was approved to be paid in awards. For the calendar year, overall numbers increased.
In a presentation to the Memphis Rotary Club this month, Memphis Police Director Michael Rawlings described the homicide rate as a complex crime problem with complex solutions needed to change. Rawlings broke the data down for the audience. He said that 20 percent of the homicides came in robberies and a like number were connected to domestic violence incidents. He also pointed to gang violence as a major motivator of killings.
"We as a community have to do a better job of policing our own children, our own family members," he told Rotarians. Rawlings also asked the audience to appreciate CrimeStoppers of Memphis and Shelby County for what it does to provide police with information that solves many crimes, and to serve the cause of justice.
Mayor Jim Strickland spoke to the Memphis Kiwanis club the very next day. He too described the record 2016 homicide rate as a major problem that will require comprehensive steps to solve.


CopperStoppers was created by CrimeStoppers in collaboration with businesses to fight the theft of and illegal sales, purchases and transportation out of town of copper and other scrap metals.

Copper stripped from wiring, appliances, plumbing or electrical boxes may bring hundreds of dollars when sold, but often results in thousands of dollars in damages to homes, apartments, churches and other facilities.

Special awards up to $1,000 are available for information leading to arrests. 
Help stop the criminals - the "copperheads" - doing economic harm to our community.

Visit for information on how to help.      
Help spread the word

If you like - we hope you do! - you can help the cause against the metal thieves by liking our new CopperStoppers Facebook page. And tell your friends, co-workers and acquaintances.

While you're at it, let them know about the main CrimeStoppers Facebook page too.

Reserve seats now
for May musical
at Playhouse 

On  May 19, CrimeStoppers gets the house for the night at Playhouse On The Square for its sixth annual Night At The Theatre fundraising event.

This year we expect tickets to sell quickly for  Million Dollar Quartet, the Musical.

Tickets are $50; click  here for information on how to reserve tickets, or how to purchase tickets to send a police officer and guest to the show.

'Where Pros Play'
golf tourney
seeking teams

Sponsors and teams are signing up to play at the first annual CrimeStoppers golf tournament next  August 7  at TPC Southwind.

The "Play Where the Pros Play" inaugural tourney takes place at the private golf course that is the home of the PGA Tour's FedEx St. Jude Classic.

To sign up a team, or to find out about sponsorships, send an email to and you will be contacted with details.

Websites building new awareness

CrimeStoppers and its many programs are explained - and the public is engaged - in various places on the internet.
Our main website explains the organization's purpose, and keeps count on major cases in which police need help from citizens - 
A companion site helps students keep their schools safer -
Senior citizens who are afraid or otherwise need help can find information they can use at another site -
Spanish-speaking citizens can learn about CrimeStoppers on a fourth site -
Now, because the theft of copper and other metals has become a major problem in the metro area we have launched a website for our newest program, CopperStoppers: