Local utility companies are warning area residents about scammers posing as utility workers. (Photo: Staff)

Tennessee American Water, EPB and Chattanooga Gas are warning area residents about utility worker imposters trying to scam the public.

The scammers may try to target residents at home, at the resident’s place of work or by calling the resident to get money. However, utility companies want to remind residents that legitimate workers will never ask for money in person or over the phone, or use scare tactics.

"We ask our customers to remain vigilant against utility imposters who use scare tactics and fraudulent attempts to solicit immediate payments with cash or debit cards," EPB Chief Information and Security Officer David Johnson said in a prepared statement. "EPB does not demand payments with reloadable debit cards to prevent immediate service disconnections, and we never use online pop-up messaging to solicit payments or to verify customer information."

Utility companies also clarify that workers with Chattanooga Gas, EPB and Tennessee American Water will always wear a uniform with the company logo, display a photo ID badge and drive vehicles that predominantly display the company name.

"We are ultimately concerned for the safety of our customers," Valoria Armstrong, president of Tennessee American Water, said in a prepared statement. "We want them to recognize the difference between a legitimate utility worker and an impersonator so they can protect themselves."

Customers with doubts about the legitimacy of the utility worker should contact the appropriate utility and local law enforcement.