It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Utility Scam - Don't Fall For It!

page: 1
18
<<   2  3 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Jul, 13 2012 @ 11:32 AM
link   
This morning in (The Seattle Times) I just read a story about a utility scam that has already affected many, many people.

The people running it have been very clever and used a time when the too trusting public is desperate.

Link: seattletimes.nwsource.com...

I am putting this on ATS to warn all my fellow members.

I have a hard and fast rule in my home; do not give out any information over the phone!




posted on Jul, 13 2012 @ 11:54 AM
link   
Thanks for the heads up. I haven't heard of this one yet.

My mother just recently got a call from "Microsoft" telling her to update her computer. Of course she followed his instructions downloading some program. The virus gave this guy total control over her comp..
He called from a 1-600 number.

I'll have to warn her about this. I know she'd fall for it.

-alittleironic



posted on Jul, 13 2012 @ 11:57 AM
link   
But wasn't Obama elected to pay all our bills and rent?

Love the way the scammers incorporated Obama into this.

So believable!



posted on Jul, 13 2012 @ 11:59 AM
link   
reply to post by alittleironic
 


I am glad that you are looking out for your mother! There are just so many gentle, too trusting souls in life. They need us to protect them!



posted on Jul, 13 2012 @ 12:02 PM
link   

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.

So believable!


This scam is a good example of how these criminals operate. I have a lot of compassion for those who got scammed.



posted on Jul, 13 2012 @ 12:06 PM
link   
reply to post by caladonea
 

Thanks for the heads up!

A few weeks ago we had some one visiting homes & businesses claiming to be from the utility company. He would tell people that they were past due on their account and if they did not pay right then, he would cut off their power.

I agree with you about not giving out any personal info over the phone. I received a call of my health insurance the other day and when they asked for my birthdate to verify my identity (for "security reasons") I refused hung up the phone and called the number on the back of my card. I was then told they had no record of trying to contact me.

Again, thanks for the thread!
OiO



posted on Jul, 13 2012 @ 12:17 PM
link   
That is sooooo despicable! Not just for robbing people who are really struggling in the first place but the cruelty of adding hope with some help to pay bills that feel like an on coming tsunami of debt.

Shame these extremely clever and sneaky criminals can't be a bit more 'Robin Hood' and swindle the banks out of their vast sums of illicit money and distribute it back to the needy.



posted on Jul, 13 2012 @ 12:20 PM
link   
reply to post by OneisOne
 


I use this sort of information as an educational tool for the now and the future....and you are welcome!



posted on Jul, 13 2012 @ 12:21 PM
link   

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.


My heart goes out to these people too. These people obviously needed the money and thought someone was trying to help them out.

I just don't understand how someone can do this to another person.. Wtf is wrong with people?



posted on Jul, 13 2012 @ 12:22 PM
link   
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.



posted on Jul, 13 2012 @ 12:24 PM
link   
reply to post by CthulhuMythos
 


The criminals that pull off this sort of scam just really get me angry too!

Your (Robin Hood) idea is probably tempting to many!



posted on Jul, 13 2012 @ 12:26 PM
link   
reply to post by EvilSadamClone
 


You follow a very sensible and smart rule. If people call me and don't leave a message...I ignore them...even sometimes if they do leave a message...



posted on Jul, 13 2012 @ 12:37 PM
link   
What I thought was so completely bizarre was there is NOTHING in the news about WHO is behind this or if anyone has been arrested, really makes one wonder:


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.

LINK



posted on Jul, 13 2012 @ 12:42 PM
link   

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.


One news story mentioned that some of the scammers are using fake caller ID listings to make it appear as if they are legit. Do not trust the caller ID...


"In some cases, the caller ID service spoofs the real name and phone number of the company, convincing residents it's genuine. "





edit on 13-7-2012 by Murgatroid because: I felt like it..



posted on Jul, 13 2012 @ 12:43 PM
link   
There are a couple guys in my area targeting elderly in their homes, saying they work for the utility company. The guy goes throughout the home, opens a window or door then the guy leaves saying everything is fine and his partner(s) enter through the door/window they left open and rob their house. It is disgusting, fortunately for these crooks they haven't had the misfortune of trying this one on me.



posted on Jul, 13 2012 @ 12:48 PM
link   
reply to post by EvilSadamClone
 

This is the rule in our house also. If you don't reconizes the number don't answer it. If you don't reconize the person standing at the door knocking, don't answer it. If someone comes up to you in public and you don't reconize them, don't give any information and go to someone of authority or someone you know and let them know what just happened.



posted on Jul, 13 2012 @ 12:55 PM
link   
Good on you for posting this to give folks a heads up! S&F!

I just don't get why there are so many HORRIBLY gullible people out there. People always try to sugar coat it and make it seem like being gullible is an admirable trait. It's not.

If you can't protect yourself and others against tricksters, that's not a good thing. There are bad people out there, people that want to trick you, hurt you, and steal from you. This has ALWAYS been the case, it's not a new thing, so the whole excuse that older people use "we didn't have to worry about people like that back in my day" or any variation of that, doesn't hold water.

Start thinking critically folks, it's your responsibility. Pulling the wool over your own eyes and sticking your head in the sand thinking that everyone out there are nice, honest people should be seen as a bad thing, not accepted and defended. "Oh she's just a very trusting person" should be on the same level as "Oh she's just not too bright"

Obviously the real issue here is the people perpetrating such scams, but honestly these people wouldn't be successful if others weren't so gullible. If I walk up to someone on the street and say "I'm the US money exchanger, I take old bills and replace them with new ones. Please give me all of your money, and I'll send you brand new bills in the mail" and someone actually believes me, it's almost like they DESERVE to get ripped off.

Being so incredibly stupid needs to be punished so that you wise up before your stupidity could possibly cause you or someone else great physical harm or death. And if loosing a bit of money will cause you to be more careful in the future maybe in the grand scheme of things it's good that it happened.



posted on Jul, 13 2012 @ 12:57 PM
link   
reply to post by Murgatroid
 


Thank you for adding to this thread...I am not as computer savvy as many are here on ATS.

As I read the article about this scam this morning...it just seemed really odd to me too...that they don't know whose doing this yet.



posted on Jul, 13 2012 @ 12:58 PM
link   
reply to post by Murgatroid
 


It doesn't matter if it's legitimate, I never answer the phone if it's a number I don't recognize.



posted on Jul, 13 2012 @ 01:02 PM
link   
reply to post by James1982
 


It's ashamed we have to teach our children at such early ages that "Yes" Boogeymen do exist.



new topics

top topics



 
18
<<   2  3 >>

log in

join