Carthage Police warns residents of utility scam - KOAM TV 7

Carthage Police warns residents of utility scam


Utility Scam

Scammers increasingly pose as utility company employees and other "energy savers" to try to get your money or valuables or sensitive information for identity theft.

Here's how:

The Shutoff Swindle

In the most common utility con, which happens every winter and during peak air-conditioning season, customers get p hone calls warning that their service is about to be shut off because of unpaid bills.

The callers claim to be billing representatives from your utility company but are actually crooks looking for a quick payoff.  They tell you what to avoid an immediate shutoff, you need to settle an overdue bill by providing them with your credit card number of a prepaid debit card, (also known as a green dot card).

In recent weeks, utility customers have been targeted in this longtime scheme. But this winter, some utility imposters have been demanding payment for several months' worth of purported unpaid utility service, not just one, as has been the custom.  They will also offer a huge discount by paying in advance.  They can be convincing.  They may use "spoofing" software that lets them falsely display the name and phone number of your utility company on your Caller ID. But you should know that most utilities will mail at least one, if not several, past-due notices before terminating service.  If you get a cancellation notification (especially by phone), always verify it by dialing the customer service number on your utility bill.  Don't give any information to the caller.

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