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Avon Water Meter ‘Scam’ Clarified

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AVON, Ohio — Earlier this week, Avon city leaders issued a notice warning residents about a potential phone scam regarding water meter installations.

But Cleveland officials said there’s no reason to be alarmed; the calls are coming from their workers.

Avon on Wednesday posted a warning on its website saying unauthorized calls were being made to residents from an “877” number, with the callers pretending to be water workers.

The warning said callers asked residents for permission to enter their homes, possibly putting them at risk for theft, and not to give out any information. The notice was also sent out via the city’s reverse 911 emergency system.

But Cleveland officials said in a release on Thursday the calls are coming from their water department and are part of its Clear Reads program. The department is trying to schedule appointments to install automated meter reading technology in about 430,000 homes and businesses it serves, the release states.

“Our Clear Reads communications program is designed to get customers to contact us to schedule an appointment,” said Jason Wood, spokesman for Cleveland’s public utilities department. “If customers do not schedule an appointment after multiple written contacts, in some instances, we will call customers directly via telephone.”

Most customers will receive three written notifications prior to receiving a call as part of the program.

Cleveland officials do encourage customers to look for the Clear Reads logo on printed materials and worker uniforms to ensure they are legitimate representatives of Cleveland Water.

For more information on the Clear Reads program, click here.

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