A new scam that began sweeping the nation in June

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Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:39 am

A new scam that began sweeping the nation in June

Post by GalindoP » Mon Jul 16, 2012 9:49 am

Scam claims Obama will pay utility bill
This is a consumer advice column written by the Better Business Bureau of Northern Indiana. It appears Thursdays in Business.

Person will ask for Social Security and bank info.

This is a consumer advice column written by the Better Business Bureau of Northern Indiana. It appears Thursdays in Business.
A new scam that began sweeping the nation in June by claiming that President Obama will pay your utility bills through a new federal program has reached this area; your BBB received a call from a consumer questioning its validity.Another consumer contacted BBB looking for information on how to get her utilities paid through a program created by Obama.
Customers of various utility companies have reported the scam, and several energy companies have issued warnings to their customers about it.
How the scam works:

Nationally, consumers have been contacted in person and through fliers, social media and text messages with claims that Obama is providing credits or applying payments to utility bills.
To receive the money, scammers claim they need the consumers’ Social Security and bank routing numbers. In return, customers are given a phony bank routing number that will supposedly pay their utility bills. In reality, there is no money, and customers believe they have paid their bills when in fact they have not.

“BBB has reported often that scammers are getting more clever and forceful into getting personal information that could do a lot of damage financially and emotionally to their victims,” said Michael Coil, president/CEO of BBB of Northern Indiana.
“Names of reputable companies, government organizations, notable individuals and others are being used to help them generate their scams. Beware.”

Tips to avoid falling for this scam
•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.

Before you make a purchase, go to the Better Business Bureau of Northern Indiana’s website at http://www.bbb.org or call 423-4433 or toll-free 1-800-552-4631 to check out a business.

http://www.news-sentinel.com/apps/pbcs. ... /FRONTPAGE

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