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Swatara Township Police warn residents about Stormwater Authority bill scam

A resident of the Township attempted to make the payment through a legitimate online bill paying service, but actually visited a fraudulent website, police say.
Credit: FOX43

Update, 11:45 a.m. (Wednesday): Swatara Township Police have issued the following update, confirming that doxo is not a fraudulent company, and that the resident visited another site created by a fraudulent enterprise.

The Swatara Township Police are currently investigating a reported scam involving the payment of annual stormwater bills. A resident of the Township attempted to make the payment through a legitimate online bill paying service (doxo). However, it appears the resident had actually visited a website created by a fraudulent enterprise. His payment was accepted by the fraudulent website but never received by Swatara Township.

Our investigation into this matter is ongoing.

Until this matter is resolved we urge residents to pay their stormwater bills in person, via U.S. Mail, or via the Township website.

PREVIOUSLY

Note: The video is from March 9.

Swatara Township authorities are warning residents to avoid using online payments to the township's Stormwater Authority while a scam is investigated.

A resident apparently visited a website to pay their bill, thinking it was the legitimate online bill paying service, a company called doxo, The scammer "(has) taken considerable effort to duplicate our website, links, phone number and company information to make it look legitimate," the township said in a press release. "DO NOT create an account to pay your Swatara Township Stormwater Authority bill on this site."

Residents are advised that they can pay their bills securely on the actual Stormwater Authority website or by mailing it to the address listed on the paper invoices they receive. There is also a drop box available in front of the Swatara Township Municipal Building, the township said.

The Swatara Township Police Department is actively investigating this matter.

A spokesperson for doxo contacted FOX43 with the following statement:

"doxo is a Seattle-based consumer financial technology company (founded more than 10 years ago as covered by the Seattle Times) , where, among other financial protection features, people can pay all of their bills in one place, using any device. Through these services, doxo currently serves over five million paying users who can make payments to over 100,000 local and national businesses, making doxo the largest bill pay directory in the nation.

"Regarding Swatara Township, we have been sending payments to the city since 2016 quite reliably, and since that time, have helped their customers make a total of 357 payments. In addition, there are currently 411 doxo users that have Swatara Township listed as one of their billers in their doxo account. These users also use doxo to pay local billers like Penn Waste, PPL Electric Utilities, UGI Utilities, Comcast and Quest Diagnostics.

"Perhaps the most important thing to point out is that Swatara Township actually charges convenience fees for paying bills online, which can be very high on a card. We provide doxo users with payment options that help them avoid those fees."

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