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Originally posted by Carseller4
But wasn't Obama elected to pay all our bills and rent?
Love the way the scammers incorporated Obama into this.
Originally posted by caladonea
This scam is a good example of how these criminals operate. I have a lot of compassion for those who got scammed.
Here's how the scam works:
1. Utility customers get a phone call telling them that the federal government has a program to pay utility bills on a one-time basis.
2. The thieves ask customers to provide their social security numbers to apply for the program.
3. The scammers also give customers a Federal Reserve bank routing number to use when paying their bills online. Customers who use this number are led to believe that their bills are paid.
PSE&G is telling its customers that this is a scam, payments aren't being applied to their accounts, and their PSE&G account balances remain due.
PSE&G is not contacting its customers and requesting social security numbers, nor is the company asking customers for the usernames and passwords they use to access their PSE&G accounts online.
One reason the scam is spreading: It seems to work. Before the local utility company gets wise to the bogus account numbers being used, the payments are processed and initially credited to victims, who receive payment confirmation notices. The victims often share their success stories with family and friends, who also fall for the scam.
Utility Bill Scam
There are copycats in there. There have been numerous other reports in:
Iowa, Louisiana, Texas, Forida, Carolinas, Mississippi, Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota
According to national reports, scammers have called or visited customers in person, posted fliers and used social media and text messages to perpetuate the scam. In Iowa, customers are being contacted via phone or hearing about the claim through word-of-mouth.
Customers who receive a suspicious call or contact should call local law enforcement immediately.
Utility Bill Scam
1. Utility scam #1: Power cut threat forces card payments
The scam: In various parts of Iowa, residents receive calls supposedly from local power companies, warning that bills have not been paid and that supplies will be disconnected.
In some cases, the caller ID service spoofs the real name and phone number of the company, convincing residents it's genuine. They give credit or debit card details for an instant payment, which are used elsewhere for fraudulent purchases.
Similar calls also go to businesses in the Roseville area of California, only this time the payments are actually cashed out by a bogus company out of Chicago, rather than the cards being used for other purchases.
2. Utility scam #2: Water bill refunder asks for change
The scam: A sneaky trick -- a conman calls at the home of an elderly person in Janesville, WI, saying he's from the water company and that she overpaid her bill. He tells her she's due a refund of $40 and asks her to make change from a $100 bill.
It's not clear whether the $100 was a dud or if he just planned either to snatch her money or see where she kept her cash. But happily, because she couldn't make the change, he left empty handed.
The solution: Utility firms don't make cash refunds at your front door. Don't listen to anyone who makes this kind of offer. Politely get rid of them and shut the door.
3. Utility scam # 3: Skip this power switch
The scam: Upstate New York residents fall for a convincing tale that promises lower utility charges if they switch to a different provider. A short time after they make the switches, the new firm hikes its rates.
Other victims allege their supply was switched without consent and that the new company demands thousands of dollars to cancel the contract.
The solution: New state legislation could be on the way to curtail these scammers. Meantime, if anyone offers you a big cut in utility charges, take it with a pinch of salt and skip the switch.
Originally posted by EvilSadamClone
This is one reason why I have caller ID. I have a rule that I never answer the phone for people I don't recognize.
"In some cases, the caller ID service spoofs the real name and phone number of the company, convincing residents it's genuine. "