Park County Phone Scam: Pay Up or Get Utilities Cut Off
Written by Andrew-Rossi on October 21, 2021
Park County residents deal with phone scammers posing as city employees, threatening citizens to immediately give up their cash or lose their water and power.
Several Park County residents are reporting fraudulent phone calls. But, unlike the ongoing purge of spam calls, these scam calls seem real enough to have gotten the attention of local law enforcement.
The premise is simple – scammers pose as employees of the city’s Billing Department and demand utility payments – something no Park County government will ever do.
Earlier this week, the City of Powell learned scammers were contacting Powell residents, posing as City of Powell’s Billing Department. They were demanding immediate payment on utility bills.
On Tuesday, Oct. 20, the Cody Police Department informed Cody residents of the same scam. Again, residents are told to pay utility bills or have their utilities shut off immediately.
There is a lot of sophistication behind this phone scam. Cody P.D. says the calls appear to be routed through several states, as the caller I.D. and area codes don’t match.
Any questions about utility bills should be taken up directly with City Hall, while scam calls should be reported to the Cody and Powell Police Departments.
Cody residents with delinquent utility bills will receive an automated call from the City of Cody for the record. The customer will be requested to contact City Hall about the account and never be demanded to make immediate payments over the phone.
Here are the numbers you need to know when it comes to utility bills and reporting phone scams.
- City of Powell Billing Department (307) 754-7263
- Powell Police Department (307) 754-2212
- Cody City Hall (307) 527-7511
- Cody Police Department (307) 527-8720
Phone scams are nothing new to Park County – this isn’t even the first utility-related scam in the area. In July 2020, some Cody residents were contacted about a utility bill rebate which was theirs for the taking – once they revealed enough sensitive information.
In November 2020, another scam tried to get money from Park County residents by threatening them with jail time. Scammers posed as employees of the Park County Sheriff’s Office, using the Sheriff’s actual phone number. The scammer demanded cash or gift cards from the victim so they could avoid arrest.
Meanwhile, contact tracing scams were common at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Scammers posing as contact tracers tried to get residents’ bank account numbers, money, and social security numbers. None of this information is requested or relevant to real contact tracers.
Everyone in Park County needs to stay vigilant and be aware of potential scammers – especially if they urgently need your money.
The Cody Police Department reminds residents to be cautious of any phone calls soliciting money, especially involving a sense of urgency. Unfortunately, this is a common tactic used by scammers of all sorts.
Any scam calls can be reported to the Cody and Powell Police Departments.