Huntsville Utilities began receiving calls from local small businesses on January 19, 2017 and again today stating that they were called regarding their utility bill, and that they were told it needed to be paid immediately via Green Dot Money Card or their service would be cut off.Huntsville Utilities is NOT making these calls. Business owners are instructed to call 844-350-9994 once they have the prepaid card, and the scammer has even copied the Huntsville Utilities automated message that answers your call and directs you to menu options.Upon investigation, your BBB found that the scammer required $390.05 on the Green Dot card and instructed us to call him back when we had obtained the money card by dialing extension 0017 and asking for Josh Coback.Business owners that follow these instructions will then provide the funds from the Green Dot card to the scammer, and since sending money on prepaid cards is untraceable and much like sending cash, business owners will not be able to retrieve the money they lost.Keep these tips in mind to help you avoid utility scams:If a caller specifically asks you to pay by prepaid debit card, this is a red flag. Your utility company will accept a check or credit card.If you feel pressured for immediate payment or personal information, hang up the phone and call the customer service number on your utility bill. This will ensure you are speaking to a real representative.Never allow anyone into your home to check electrical wiring, natural gas pipes or appliances unless you have scheduled an appointment or reported a problem. Also, ask utility employees for proper identification.Beware of spoofing. Keep in mind that utility imposters are also known to "spoof" caller ID by disguising their own phone number and replacing it with the phone number of a legitimate business.Always contact your utility company directly using verifiable contact information found on bills or statements to confirm the legitimacy of a call or visit before providing additional information or access.