COLUMBUS (WCMH) – The Columbus Department of Public utilities is warning residents about a new phone scam.

According to John Ivanic, Assistant Director of the Department of Public Utilities, the caller ID says the call is coming from 614-645-8276, which is the number for the department’s customer service line. The scammers will then demand customers call 855-472-7249 to make a payment.

The Department of Public Utilities customer service division will never call and demand payment from residents.

If you receive one of these calls, you are urged to contact the Columbus Division of Police at 614-645-4545.

The Better Business Bureau says you can avoid becoming a victim of a scam by following these tips:

  • First and foremost, do not answer calls from numbers you do not recognize. If it’s a legitimate contact, they will leave a message. Even if a scammer leaves a message, this will give you time to think about what is being asked of you.
  • If you do answer and are asked questions that seem to be fishing for a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer, do not respond and hang up immediately.
  • For this scam, and all others, never give out any personal identifying information over the phone when you are not sure of the caller.
  • If you believe you may have fallen for this, contact your bank and credit card companies to flag your accounts. Check your account daily – the earlier you identify unauthorized charges on your accounts, the easier it will be to recover any lost money.
  • Write down the phone number of those callers violating the Do Not Call Registry and file a scam report with BBB Scam Tracker and the FTC’s Do Not Call List.
  • If you have questions or concerns about this or any other scam, call your BBB at 248.223.9400.