The summer heat wave is blasting people across the country, but don’t let your fried brain trick you into believing a new scam spreading across the country. For example, Dayton Power & Light in Ohio says customers have been calling in to report a trickster who’s telling people President Obama will pay their utility bills as part of a bailout plan.
The scammers are asking people to register for the program, and provide personal and financial information in the process. The whole thing is a sham, says DP&L, according to the Dayton Daily News. Other reports of such scams have been popping up elsewhere, including New Jersey, California, Wisconsin, Florida and many other states.
“The scammers are simply fishing for personal information as part of the identity theft fraud. Unfortunately, many victims received forwarded emails or text messages from friends and family,” said DP&L spokeswoman Lesley Sprigg.
“The scam uses email, Twitter, phone calls and even door-to-door visits. Sometimes, utility customers are asked to provide the number on the back of their Social Security cards. It is a way to get Social Security numbers, bank account or routing numbers to use in identity theft.”
The scammer is assuring targets that the bills will be paid off, and have even been providing a bogus confirmation numbers. Victims are realizing soon enough that no, the bill has not been paid, and yes, they still must pay it. And in the process, scammers are stealing money from victims’ bank accounts using the personal information.
As always, never give out personal information like a Social Security Number or bank account numbers over the phone from anyone who calls you.
DP&L says anyone getting a call from someone claiming to be part of the program or claiming to be from DP&L should hang up and call the utility’s customer service number at 800-433-8500. If you’re in another state, make sure to contact your utility company as well.
*Thanks for the tip, Roy!
Don’t fall for ‘Obama will pay electric bill scam,’ warns DP&L [Dayton Daily News]
Thousands of Americans fall victim to utility payment scam [Associated Press]