GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- A debit card scam that's been circulating across the country may have made its way into Grand Rapids.
"Apparently it's in other cities in Michigan and the U.S.," said Grand Rapids City Water Systems Manager Joellen Thompson.
Thompson says the scammer targeted one of its customers, who reported it to the city Wednesday morning. He received a phone call by someone, threatening to shut off his water service.
"I believe his water bill was overdue," said Thompson.
Thompson says the caller posed as a 'city worker.'
"In order to get the water turned back on he had to pay 'us,'" Thompson said.
The caller told the resident he needed to go to Walgreens, and buy a prepaid VISA card or GreenDot prepaid card. The scam works by telling the customer to call back to a toll-free number and provide the account number on the prepaid card. The Grand Rapids resident fell for it.
"Requesting or demanding you do something, that's always a red flag," said Thompson.
Grand Rapids Police are now investigating. Part of that will be to determine how the caller knew the resident's bill was overdue.
Thompson says the average city water/sewer bill is $166; the city bills quarterly. Thompson says they never call people to collect money to avoid a cut-off in service.
Grand Rapids water and sewer payments are accepted through the mail, on-line via credit card payment, or in person at 300 Monroe NW. If you believe you have been contacted by a scammer, call their customer service staff at 456-3020.