Victorville warns residents of a phone fraud involving a “water utility payment.”

Victorville warns residents of a phone fraud involving a "water utility payment."

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  • “For example, one person didn’t live in Victorville; so they knew it was strange to be receiving a phone call from someone claiming to be with ‘Victorville Customer Service.’ Another community member told us the caller asked for her address,” Jones said. “She was aware enough to question why the caller wouldn’t have her address if the caller was really with ‘Victorville Customer Service’ as they claimed.”

  • Customer service representatives would never call customers for payment to avoid a water shutoff, according to officials. Instead, mailed notices are sent. Water shutoffs are also not in effect at the moment due to an executive order issued by Governor Gavin Newsom in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Jones said each person who reported a suspicious call “found something off about the phone call they received, so they knew something was wrong.”

Another person said they were on a well and didn’t have city water service. Imposter scams — where a scammer pretends to be someone a person trusts to convince them to send them money — was the most common type of fraud reported in the U.S. last year. The Federal Trade Commission — the government agency responsible for consumer protection — reported that out of $3.3 billion lost to fraud in 2020, nearly $1.2 billion was due to imposter scams. The loss of money reported last year was 83% higher than the $1.8 billion reported in 2019.

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