Occasionally, the City’s Utility Billing Department receives calls from customers about recorded messages urging them to pay their water bill. These messages are an example of caller ID spoofing, involving scammers who disguise their identity and use software to falsify the information that is sent to your caller ID. Scammers do this because you are more likely to pick up your phone if you think it is a local number, instead of one you don't recognize.
While University Park Utility Billing staffers do call customers about the status of their account and to seek payment, all calls originating from University Park City Hall will show “City Univ Park” on your caller ID. If at any time you have questions about your account, or you have concerns about the validity of recorded messages, before you make a credit card payment or share credit card information, please call the Utility Department at 214-987-5322 or 214-987-5321.
Caller ID spoofing is illegal. FCC rules prohibit anyone from transmitting misleading or inaccurate caller ID information with the intent to defraud, cause harm or wrongly obtain anything of value. Anyone who is illegally spoofing can face financial penalties for each violation. Regardless of the circumstances, if you believe you have been a victim of fraud, in addition to notifying your credit card company, so a report can be made, you are urged to call the University Park Police Department at 214-363-3000.
Tips for reducing spam calls:
- Check to see if your phone carrier has a service or app that helps identify or filter out spam calls.
- You can consider using third-party apps to help block spam calls – but be aware that you will be sharing private data with them.
- If you receive a call from an unknown number, often it is best not to answer it. Answering spam calls invites more spam calls, as the scammers then consider you a potential prospect.