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Today, the City of Anderson Utility Department issued the following alert to area residents and businesses who are customers of the department. According to Sharon Riddle, Manager of the City Utility Department, local citizens and businesses are being contacted over the telephone and threatened with a disconnect of their utilities unless they pay an outstanding charge of several hundred dollars. The caller states that a new electric meter has been installed and the customer is responsible for the charge. They are directed to purchase a reloadable debit card and submit the card number to the individual or a co-worker or face disconnect of their utilities. “We want citizens to know that this is a definite scam,” said Riddle. “It’s unfortunate that this type of criminal behavior is being perpetrated upon unsuspecting citizens and that they are using the City Utility Department as a screen to hide their real identity.”Several reports of these calls have come to the attention of city officials. “We want to make sure our citizens know that we would never contact them over the phone and ask them to purchase a reloadable debit card to pay any utility bill,” said Mayor Thomas Broderick, Jr. “And we definitely have not installed new meters where customers are expected to pay a charge of several hundred dollars,” he continued. If anyone is contacted by such an individual or company, they should make note of the telephone number and immediately report the incident to the Office of the Indiana Attorney General Consumer Fraud Division at (317) 232-6330 or online at http://www.in.gov/attorneygeneral/2433.htm.