Headline: SCAM ALERT:Beware of Unauthorized Persons Demanding Account Payments on Behalf of WAPA;
The Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority is issuing a SCAM ALERT to customers, particularly business owners on St. Thomas, who appear to be targets of several scams to solicit monies or information without authorization.
According to Executive Director Hugo V. Hodge, Jr., the Authority has received calls from a number of business owners reporting that they were threatened with disconnection if immediate payments of large sums of money were not sent to WAPA’s "disconnection center" through MoneyGram only. Once prepared with the money, customers were directed to call (801) 738-4005 for further instructions about whom and where to send the payment. A second possibly related scam reported by a business owner to the Authority focuses on telephone calls from a person identifying himself as "Jack" or "Zack" asking for the customer’s "junction box number."
Hodge confirmed that WAPA does not have a department called the "disconnection center" nor does the utility install junction boxes to serve individual customers. Such inquiries and actions by these scammers are not authorized by the Authority, he said. "We are concerned that such actions are taking place by unknown individuals, requesting information seemingly based on WAPA’s operations." said Hodge. "We want to immediately caution our customers to disregard such calls and report the information to the proper authorities."
Hodge said that reports can be made to the Virgin Islands Police Department, or to WAPA’s Internal Audit Revenue Assurance Division at 340-715-6563 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org .Reports can also be made anonymously to www.CrimeStoppersUSVI.org or by calling 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or by texting "USVI" plus the message to CRIMES (274637).
Customers who do not receive their July billing statement in the mail during the usual time period received each month, should contact WAPA on St. Thomas at 774-3552, St. John at 776-6446 or St. Croix at 773-2250 and report that information to a customer service representative who will verify account information during the call. Hodge urged WAPA’s customers to be cautious about sharing account numbers, personal identification numbers and other confidential information pertaining to their account with others and
to also secure billing statements that may have related information.
"At this time, there is no evidence that WAPA’s customer information system has been compromised, however, the investigations related to these illegal scams will remain active," Hodge concluded.
Report information about these scamming incidents to the numbers listed above.
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