Be aware of scam artists posing as utility employees
We received a report this week from a customer on the south side who said a man claiming to work for "the water utility" was at his door asking to be let into the house so he could check for flooding in the basement. The customer said the man had no identification when asked and he was not wearing a uniform, only khaki shorts and a T shirt. The man eventually left the property.
We frequently hear from customers who say men and women posing as water utility employees have asked to check on a water meter, have offered a rebate, or have said they need to check on something in the house. But Milwaukee Water Works service calls are arranged and scheduled in advance. There may be a cold-call without an appointment for a meter exchange, but then the utility employee would arrive in a City of Milwaukee marked vehicle and present identification before asking to enter a building or home.
Milwaukee Water Works employees always show an identification card with their photo when approaching a customer for business.
In another case, a man claiming to be a bill collector for the Milwaukee Water Works telephoned people and asked for payment and account information. The Milwaukee Water Works does not call customers regarding payments but contacts them by U.S. Postal Service mail. In some cases, the utility may phone a commercial customer for meter-related work.
- If someone has called you, do not provide information to them about any utility account over the telephone.
- Do not open your door to someone you do not recognize. Do not allow anyone to enter your home if you are not sure of any person’s identity.
- Ask to see photo identification (I.D.) through a window. Milwaukee Water Works, City of Milwaukee, and other utility employees and contractors carry photo identification. Legitimate employees will be happy to show you their I.D. if you ask, or call the utility to verify identification.
- Call the Milwaukee Water Works Customer Service Center, (414) 286-2830, if you are unsure about a person’s identification or to verify work to be done at your home. Call the police if you believe the person or caller is an imposter.
- Do not allow anyone to enter your home claiming to collect a past-due bill, make an inspection, or to sell utility products such as a meter or other equipment. Milwaukee Water Works employees do not engage in door-to-door sales, do not collect a past-due bill in person, and do not deliver rebates or refunds.
- Share these reminders with your elderly loved ones, friends, and children.
Milwaukee Water Works employees on duty drive marked City of Milwaukee vehicles.
If a property owner calls the Milwaukee Water Works Customer Service Center and asks for an investigation into high water use or other water service-related issue, the Milwaukee Water Works may send an employee to a residence or business. The utility also may send an employee to investigate high water use or a possible meter issue, or to replace a meter, without a customer-initiated service request. This is usually limited to commercial customers.