The Texarkana, Texas Police Department reminds local businesses and individuals to use extreme caution when providing any personal information to unknown telephone callers or when sending money to strangers.

Several area hotels were contacted a man on the telephone on Oct. 12, 2015 who identified himself as a representative of the Texarkana Water Utilities. He allegedly told the clerks who answered the phone that their recent payment had been declined by the bank and their water service was scheduled to be shut off immediately. According to police, he explained that they could avoid any water service interruption by sending a money transfer to a Walmart account. This person is not associated with the Texarkana Water Utilities and the calls are being made as part of a scam. Fortunately, all of the hotels recognized the telephone calls as questionable and contacted the Texarkana Water Utilities directly to determine the status of their accounts.

Police said they are not aware of anyone sending any money to this individual.

CeCe White, Texarkana Water Utilities Customer Service Mananger, said that if a commercial entity is up for disconnect, TWU contacts the business by phone to let it know the situation and make arrangements for payment. However, TWU would never take a payment directly over the phone or ask the company to pay anywhere other than a site listed on the TWU website.

“We will normally provide a hotel/motel or apartment complex with as many payment options as possible as we know that many people would be inconvenienced due to a situation totally beyond their control. It is never a matter of getting a check/payment returned and we run out and turn the water off without notice," White said.