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News 6 Investigates: Phone scam targets utility customers

The area code is correct and the city recording authentic, but security investigators with the City of Ocala tell News 6 the deception starts when you dial the phone number and ends with that customer service connection.

Federal investigators traced that somewhere else from Ocala to Columbia South America.

News 6 has learned the telephone line with the 352 area code was sold by bandwidth.com.

According to the company website, the company has 40 million numbers in service.

Chris Ramos, the Ocala’s network security officer, recorded this conversation with the utility imposters before the line was disconnected.

Listen to the full conversation below. 

Maryann Davis, director of Finance and Customer Service, said this type of scam can be repeated anywhere.
During our investigation, we found Bandwidth anticipates dealing with law enforcement. In fact, there are complaints about calls allegedly linked to the network that date back to several years.

“There are various scams out there all year long and they just pop up out of nowhere,” Davis told News 6 investigator Mike Holfeld.

They cloned the message somehow, but as soon as we found out working with local utilities, theline has been shut down.

 


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