Source of suspicious Athens Utilities emails found [The News Courier, Athens, Ala.]
(News Courier (Athens, AL) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Nov. 04--ATHENS -- A suspected email fraud involving Athens Utilities customers turned out to be a mistaken emailing by an online bill-pay company.
Athens Utilities was a former client of Business Information Systems who sent out the emails Friday afternoon, said Amy Golden, customer relations manager for Athens Utilities.
The company said the notice was "sent out annually to Utilityflex customers and your customer list was inadvertently included since Athens Utilities was a recent customer. We keep our information for audit purposes only but never keep any credit card information in our records." Utilityflex is a division of BIS, Golden said.
She said when Utilities officials learned of Friday's emailing, they knew it was not from the utility and was limited to its online bill-pay customers.
"We had to identify where it originated," Golden said. "We worked with the police department and our IT department to find the source.
"We found it was the company we hadn't used for several years."
She said BIS sent Athens Utilities a list of the customers who were affected and the utility then notified those customers. BIS said it will remove the names "from any current databases."
"We were able to address the problem and get on top of it," Golden said. "We are thrilled this was not a personal threat (identity fraud) or to their computers."
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