Vineland Officials Warn of Utility Phone Scam

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VINELAND, N.J. -

Vineland officials are warning businesses and residents about a phone scam.

Customers of the Vineland Municipal Utilities (VMU) are receiving phone calls from people referring to themselves as a "VMU Customer Service Representative."

The scammers are telling customers that they are behind on their utility bill and that payment must be made immediately to avoid disconnection of service.

The scammers are using a cloned telephone number, which makes the calls seem like they originated from Vineland Municipal Utilities.

The scammers are telling customers that they are behind on their utility bill and that payment must be made immediately to avoid disconnection of service.

The callback number provided by the scammers includes a recording that is exactly the same as the VMU phone system recording. Customers will then be asked to provide personal information such as their social security number and banking information.

VMU officials are urging customers not to provide any banking information over the phone. Representatives do not call customers regarding past due bills. VMU sends notices to their customers who are behind on their bill.

"These callers can sound very convincing and are often quite persistent and even threatening," said municipal utilities director John Lillie. "We don't want any of our customers being scared into releasing personal or banking information over the phone, especially with the current weather conditions. Always remember, payments are only accepted by mail, in person at Vineland City Hall, or via our website portal with a credit or debit card."

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