Scammers Try to Exploit S.F. Water Bills

Ignore calls from someone claiming to represent "SF Utilities."

As Americans adjust to the new normal of sensitive stolen information that’s likelier to be used against them — thanks, Equifax — San Franciscans are fighting scam calls about water bills this week.

San Francisco Public Utilities Commission officials say several dozen customers have reached out the past couple days to tell them about someone impersonating the agency to get money wired for water bills.

These customers received calls from someone pretending to be from “SF Utilities” and threatening to shut off their water unless they bring cash payments at Walgreens, CVS and Rite Aid stores in the city. Customers were directed to call a number they were given for more instructions once they arrived with the cash, says SFPUC spokesperson Tyler Gamble.

SFPUC officials have had to clarify that the calls aren’t from them and that they don’t tell customers to pay their water bills in person or in unauthorized payment locations.

As the agency internally investigates the scam, officials say there’s no evidence of an information breach for customers. SFPUC reported it to the San Francisco Police Department, FBI and the Federal Trade Commission.

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