Did you know President Obama initiated a new national program which helps consumers pay their utility bills? Sounds too good to be true? That’s because it is.
In this multi-state scam, con artists pose as utility company representatives, and claim that President Obama has authorized credits be deposited into your utility account to help pay your bill. The catch? They want your Social Security Number along with your credit card and bank routing information.
Some victims have been given fraudulent bank account numbers and have been asked to use this account when paying their utility bills. You can imagine what happened next. Remember, you should never give a stranger your personal sensitive information.
People have been targeted by phone, text message, through social media and door-to-door.
- Never provide your social security number, credit card number or banking information to anyone requesting it over the phone or at your home unless you initiated the contact and feel confident with whom you are speaking.
- If you receive a call claiming to be your utility company and feel pressured for immediate payment or personal information, hang up the phone and call the customer service number on your utility bill.
- Never allow anyone into your home to check electrical wiring, natural gas pipes or appliances unless you have scheduled an appointment or have reported a utility problem. Also, ask utility employees for proper identification.
- Always think safety first. Do not give in to high pressure tactics over the phone for information or in person to get into your home.