Redlands residents warned against utility payment scam

The city of Redlands wishes to warn residents about a phone scam reported by a city water utility customer recently.

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A resident contacted the city’s Customer Service office this week to report multiple phone calls from a local telephone number demanding payment of past due utility bills and threatening to disconnect the customer’s water service if the bill is not paid immediately.

Under both a state emergency order and a City Council resolution, utility connections will not be disconnected for non-payment of fees during the pandemic. The orders remain in effect until the state’s emergency order related to the COVID-19 pandemic is lifted. Once the order is lifted, utility customers will have one year to repay any outstanding balance.

After refusing to make the demanded payment, the customer reporting the fraudulent call checked her utility billing balance with the city and confirmed that she was current with all payments.

How to check your bill

  • Redconnect: Utility customers can check their current balance-due at any time using Redconnect, a free online service. To enroll in Redconnect, visit myredconnectaccount.org. Customers will need to provide their utility account number along with the last four digits of the account holder’s Social Security or Tax ID number.
  • Check by phone: After the city reopens on Jan. 4, customers may also call the city’s Customer Service office at (909) 798-7516 to inquire about their balance.
  • Paying your bill: Account payments should always be made directly to the city of Redlands through one of the following methods:Deposit your payment in the night drop box located between Customer Service, suite 15A, and the Revenue Office, suite 15B at the Redlands Civic Center, 35 Cajon St.; Mail your payment to PO Box 6903, Redlands CA 92375; Make an online payment through your bank. (Please allow ample time for your payment to arrive by the due date); Make an online payment through Speedpay, which is the only online service that guarantees next-day delivery to the city of Redlands. Access Speedpay by calling 1 (866) 269-2896 or visit redlandscustomerservice.org. The vendor charges a $3.95 convenience fee. 
  • Avoid pre-paid store cards: Payments should never be made by sending pre-paid store cards, which is a method frequently demanded by criminals attempting to defraud victims.
  • Suspicious? If you suspect you are the victim of fraud or that you have been contacted fraudulently, contact the Redlands Police Department at (909) 798-7681, ext. 1.