In tough times, water utility customers have sometimes been targeted by scammers trying to pull a fast one. One example is that water filter companies may call stating that your water is polluted and the water district has asked them to come out and test your water. Rest assured, Vallecitos tap water consistently meets or exceeds all required drinking water regulations as documented in our annual water quality reports. In addition, Vallecitos does not hire a third party to test the water and can test the water in the street, therefore they do not need access inside your home.
Another example is that scammers will call and claim to work for the water company. They tell the customer that they are late on their utility bill and that their service will be cut off if they don't pay immediately. They then instruct the customer to give them their credit card number to pay the bill or purchase a prepaid debit card and call them back with the card number. Thieves then drain the value from the card.
An even scarier tactic that happened in North County in 2018 involved a scammer pretending to work for a water utility company. He told the resident that he needed to check her water. She let him into her home and he led her into the backyard to check her water pressure. While in the backyard, an accomplice entered and ransacked the house, stealing $100,000 worth of cash and jewelry. Read more...
If you have any concerns, please contact the District at (760) 744-0460 to verify any information that you feel is suspect.
For help spotting a utility scam, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) offers these tips:
It's a red flag if you are asked to pay by prepaid debit card. Utility companies usually accept a check or credit card. If you pay with a prepaid debit card, the transaction cannot be reversed, according to the BBB.
Watch out for high-pressure tactics, such as threats to cut off your service unless you make an immediate payment. End the call then call Vallecitos’ Customer Service department at (760) 744-0460 to ensure that you speak with a real representative.
If someone comes to your home claiming to be from the Vallecitos Water District, ask for identification. All Vallecitos employees carry a photo ID issued from the District. Do not let the person in your home if you did not schedule a service appointment. If in doubt, call Vallecitos Water District at (760) 744-0460 to confirm that the person at your door is a District employee or contact your local law enforcement agency if you feel you are in danger.
For more information on utility scams, go to the Federal Trade Commissions website.