Utilities Bill Payment Scam: How It Works
(with video below) This scam is spreading very fast since it’s perpetrated through automated phone calls to thousands of random numbers at once. As the utilities in our homes become more expensive every year, it would be helpful to have federal assistance or programs in place to alleviate some of the payments.
However, crooks took a hit at the opportunity again, using the names of government officials and even president administrations. The scam started a few years ago with Barack Obama’s mention, but now the criminals keep the same pattern. How does the scam work?
Watch the video below to see the Paid Utility Bill Scam, as exposed in the news when started:
Criminals pose as Government workers (US, UK, Canada, Australia, etc.), advertising a program that will help you pay for your utilities. You receive this automated phone call informing you of the utility program, which will supposedly pay up to $1,000 (or Pounds). You can also be contacted with this offer by text message.
However, the scam is very effective via calls because criminals use caller ID spoofing to make your phone show the name ‘Government’ on its display – or any other official name.
What you are asked to do is share your personal information. In exchange, you are given a bank routing number and checking account number to provide your utility company when making a payment. The scam works because the payments with the fake bank account number are initially accepted. Only when the payments are processed hours or days later the fake number is caught and rejected.
The scam also spreads fast because the victims are so happy about the deal that they immediately post the good news on social media, generating more victims who fall for the trick.
How To Avoid The Utility Assistance Scam
As a rule of thumb, you should hang up any automated phone call you receive. If it comes as a text message, ignore it as well. Use your common sense and research any offer that looks too good to be true. The Internet makes it so easy. Go onto the Government’s website, check to verify the existence of such programs.
How To Report
Make your family and friends aware of this scam by sharing it on social media using the buttons provided. You can also officially report the scammers to the Federal Trade Commission using the link below:
Report Scammers To The FTC Here
How to protect yourself more:
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