WARNING: A New Phone Scam is Sweeping Through Tyler, TX
Don't become a victim. There have been several reports of a new scam, this one is targeting businesses in Tyler, TX. It involves a man and woman claiming to be with the Tyler Water Business Office.
In a press release from the City of Tyler on Friday (9/15) we learned that Tyler Water Utilities has been made aware of a person calling East Texas hotels claiming their business is running low on water and unless money is transferred to the caller, their service will be cut off.
The callers state the hotels have 60 gallons of water left to use and need to pay $7,500 by Venmo, Cash App, or Zelle to keep their service on. They also claim their meters were changed out and to keep them, the hotel must make this payment. The caller then states they will give them a bank code to make the payment and then they will need to call back with a confirmation number.
According to the release officials know that five hotels have have already been contacted by the scammers: La Quinta on Loop 323, Hilton on Grande Avenue, Summit Hotel on Heritage Drive, Homewood Suites on Golden Road, and Magnuson Grand on Troup Hwy.
The big takeaway here, whether you're a business or just a private citizen, know that Tyler Water Business Office will never contact you for payment of fines and will never request payment through apps such as Venmo, PayPal, or Zelle.
Remember that government agencies have online portals for payment, and if you are unsure of the person contacting you always reach out to the office directly. And NEVER share personal information including your address, social security number, or credit card number over the phone.
Anyone with information about this suspect is urged to contact the Tyler Police non-emergency number at (903) 531-1000.