Advertisement
Scams

Watch Out for Utility Bill Scams

Don't give out personal information to people claiming the government will help pay your electric bill.

The Better Business Bureau is warning Americans to beware of a new scam that claims the federal government will help pay their electric bills.

Thousands of people across the country already have become victims of scammers who call, text, show up at homes or use social media to tout a federal assistance program that will pay up to $1,000 on utility or credit-card bills -- but there is no such program, according to the BBB.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The scammers ask people for their Social Security numbers and other personal information then give victims a phony bank account and routing number to use when paying their bills online. Even though some people get confirmation of their payment, their bills don't get paid. And those who give out personal information expose themselves to identity theft. (Read more from the BBB about the scam.)

To avoid becoming a victim, the BBB advises people to take the following steps:

--Don't give personal information over the phone. Unless you initiate contact, never give anyone your Social Security number, credit card number or bank account information.

--Verify that the person contacting you is from your utility company by ending the call and calling the customer service number on your utility bill. If someone comes to your home claiming to be from your utility company, ask for identification. Do not let the person in your home if you did not schedule a service appointment. Call the utility company to confirm that it sent someone to your home.

--Pay bills with your bank or credit account, not accounts provided to you by others.

--Let others know about this scam.

Get 100 of our top money-saving tips by downloading the new iPad app or purchasing the PDF version.

Follow me on Twitter

Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

7 Surprisingly Valuable Assets for a Happy Retirement
happy retirement

7 Surprisingly Valuable Assets for a Happy Retirement

If you want a long and fulfilling retirement, you need more than money. Here are the most valuable retirement assets to have (besides money), and how …
August 3, 2020
Turning 60 in 2020? Expect Lower Social Security Benefits
Coronavirus and Your Money

Turning 60 in 2020? Expect Lower Social Security Benefits

When you file for Social Security, the amount you receive may be lower.
July 30, 2020
How a Second Stimulus Check Could Differ from Your First One
Tax Breaks

How a Second Stimulus Check Could Differ from Your First One

The HEROES Act, which was passed by the House in May, would authorize a second round of stimulus checks. While the new payments would be similar to th…
July 22, 2020

Recommended

12 Cheapest Small Towns in America 2020
real estate

12 Cheapest Small Towns in America 2020

Affordable small towns aren't necessarily the best places to live for everyone, but each cheap small town on our list has its charms.
August 6, 2020
The 20 Most Expensive Cities in the U.S.
real estate

The 20 Most Expensive Cities in the U.S.

From metro areas on both coasts to deep in the Alaskan interior, these are the priciest cities in the U.S. to call home.
July 29, 2020
12 Things Every Home Buyer Should Do
real estate

12 Things Every Home Buyer Should Do

Buying a home may be one of the biggest purchases you will ever make.
June 12, 2020
11 Things Every Home Seller Should Do
real estate

11 Things Every Home Seller Should Do

As a home seller, your goal is to sell your property quickly for the most money possible.
June 12, 2020