Hamilton, Ohio - Recently, several Hamilton utility customers have reported receiving phone calls from callers identifying themselves as representatives of the Hamilton Utilities, and attempting to collect on purported unpaid utility bills. The calls that are being received are a phone scam, attempting to gather personal information from the City's utility customers. It is unknown at this time whether this scam is also being seen with other utility system customers, such as Duke Energy Ohio, as has happened in the past. A similar phone scam targeted utility customers in this area in June 2014 and December 2013 as well.
Tim Bigler, Energy Management Director, states, "The City of Hamilton does not make random telephone calls to our customers, demanding payment over the phone or informing them of cutoffs or disconnection dates. If a customer receives such a call from the City, the customer would have already received several notices and information sent directly, in writing, to the customers. These notices would have been via messages on their utility bills, individual mailed letters or hand-delivered notices. Any payment to the City would be through the City's normal payment acceptance channels, such as EZ Pay or in person, at our offices at 345 High Street, in downtown Hamilton."
Bigler stated further, "Additionally, if a Customer Service Representative from the City contacts a utility customer about an impending disconnection, due to nonpayment, the City Representative will have all of the customer information readily available to them, including name, address, account number and other personal account information, so our Representative will not be seeking to gather personal information from the customer."
Bigler continued, "If a customer receives such a call or suspects the call to be a scam, please do not provide any personal information to the caller. Simply hang up. If the customer has any questions about the receipt of these types of calls or about your utility bills, in general, please call our office at (513) 785-7100."
Hamilton Police Department (HPD) detectives, as well as the Public Affairs Section, are aware of and are investigating this scam.
If you suspect that someone is attempting to scam you, contact the HPD Public Affairs Section or the Department of Public Utilities, at the telephone numbers below:
HPD Public Affairs Section - (513) 868-5811, ext. 2007
Hamilton Utilities, Customer Service Division - (513) 785-7100
The City of Hamilton owns and operates all four of the primary utilities in the City, including electric (generation, transmission and distribution), natural gas (distribution), water (treatment and distribution) and water reclamation (collection and treatment) systems. The City continues to be one of the lowest cost providers of all utility services in the Region and the State.