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Police warn about possible electricity scam in Martinsville

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MARTINSVILLE (WSLS 10) - Police in Martinsville warn about a possible scam involving the city's electric department.

Police say a resident or business received a call stating their electric bill was late. In order to avoid having their electric cut off within 30 minutes, police say, the caller advised them to call (888) 768-3334 ext. 48 to pay the bill using a credit or debit card.

Police are investigating the incident.

Here's the news release from the Martinsville Police Department:

On January 18, 2016, the Martinsville Police Department was notified of a possible scam involving the City of Martinsville Electric Department. In this particular instance, the caller advised the resident/business their electric bill hadn't been paid, and their power was going to be cut off within 30 minutes. They could call a given number (888-768-3334 ext. 48), and pay their bill over the phone using a credit/debit card. The given number was different from that on the caller ID (201-677-8715).

When the 888-768-3334 number was called, an automated recording stating you have reached the City of Martinsville Electric Department was heard. In selecting extension 48, a male, "David" answered "City of Martinsville Electric". When asked which Martinsville/which state, they hung up. The City of Martinsville Electric Department is closed today in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.

The incident is under further investigation. As always, the Martinsville Police Department urges you not to give out your credit/debit card/checking account numbers over the phone."