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New Utility Company Scam, According to Federal Trade Commission.

Wed, Jul 15, 2020 at 10:50AM

Written by Kristen Schmutz

Belden Communications News

 

In a new blog post on the FTC’s website, Jim Kreidler informs consumers of a new trick being used by scammers in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Scammers are now posing as utility company representatives to extort people for money and personal information, after convincing consumers that their utility account will be shut off for non-payment.

 

Kreidler warns if you get a call from someone claiming to be your utility company, here are some things you can do:

 

  • Thank the caller for the information. Then firmly tell them you will contact the utility company directly using the number on your bill or the company’s website.

 

  • Even if the caller insists you have a past due to bill or your services will be shut off, never give banking information over the phone unless 

    you

     place the call to a number you know is legitimate.

 

  • Utility companies don’t demand banking information by email or phone. And they won’t force you to pay by phone as your 

    only

     option. 

 

  • If the caller demands payment by gift card, cash reload card, wiring money, or cryptocurrency, it is a scam. Legitimate companies don’t demand payment by gift cards (like iTunes or Amazon), cash reload cards (like MoneyPak, Vanilla, or Reloadit), or cryptocurrency (like Bitcoin).

 

  • Tell your friends and loved ones about the scam so they can protect themselves. If you got this scam call, others in your community probably did too. We know when people hear about scams, they’re much more likely to avoid them.  

 

If you or a loved one feel like you have been a victim of one of these scams, don’t hesitate to report it to the FTC. Complaints can be files here.


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