Tuesday, January 17 , 2017, 12:54 am | Fair 45º

Posted on January 10, 2014 | 12:24 p.m.

Police Warn of Utility Scam Targeting Lompoc Businesses

Source: Sgt. Chuck Strange for the Lompoc Police Department

Over the past two weeks, several businesses in Lompoc received calls that their utilities were going to be shut off in 30 minutes unless they submitted payment by card via phone for the past due amount.

The caller identified himself as Steve Martinez. The managers and owners of the businesses immediately contacted the City of Lompoc Utility Department and were told the calls were a scam.

One business owner reported the caller said he had an outstanding debt on his utility bill and someone from the city would come to his business and pick up the balanced owed in cash. The owner insisted he would pay his bill at City Hall. Of course, nobody arrived at his business to collect the cash payment.

This scam has not been limited to businesses. One residential customer called saying he received an email stating that his utilities were switching to PG&E and that his bill was past due and in danger of being shut off if he did not pay.

If you receive a call from someone falsely representing themselves and demanding payment please report the call to the Police Department. Also remember to never give your personal information or credit card information without verifying the information.

 — Sgt. Chuck Strange is a public information officer for the Lompoc Police Department.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Reader Comments

Noozhawk encourages free expression, regardless of viewpoint, but requires that such expressions be civil in tone, respectful of other commenters and relevant to the stories on which they are posted. We reserve the right to remove any comment for any reason.

By posting on Noozhawk, you:

» Agree not to submit a comment that is abusive, defamatory, disrespectful, illegal, libelous, profane, vulgar or disparaging (whether on the basis of disability, ethnicity, gender, nationality, race, religion, sexual orientation, traits with which people are born, or otherwise).

» Agree not to submit a comment that attacks or threatens another person, threatens or promotes violence, wishes for harm to befall another person, invades another person's privacy or proprietary rights, or uses expletives (including veiled profanity).

» Agree not to stalk or harass another person, dominate the conversation, discourage participation by others, or bait, belittle, bicker with, mock or taunt others.

» Agree not to solicit others. You agree you will not use Noozhawk’s forums to solicit and/or advertise for personal blogs and websites, without Noozhawk’s express written approval.

» Comments with spam or self-promotional links are not allowed. Comments that include links are automatically routed to a Pending queue. Regularly checking it is not a priority of ours.


Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >