Don’t Fall For This ‘Over Paying Your Utility Bill’ Scam
It feels like there is a new scam that pops up everyday now here in 2020. I mean, it's already the worst year on record so what else can make it worse? The newest scam that is making its rounds involves you "over paying your utility bills".
According to the Federal Trade Commission, the latest scam to pop up is a robo call saying that you have over paid your utility bill and to make up for this mistake, you will be getting a cash refund and a discount on your future bill(s). Sound way too good to be true right? Well, that's because it is. About 99% of the time, this will be a scam just to get your information to steal your hard earned cash. Best case scenario, it's a really bad marketing trick to get you to switch providers. Utility companies rarely give cash refunds, mainly they will just credit your account towards your next bill.
If you happen to be on the receiving end of one of these calls, the FTC recommends you do the following:
- Hang up. Don’t press any numbers or respond to any instructions. If you press or respond, you’ll probably wind up getting more unwanted calls like this.
- Never give the caller your Social Security number, account details, or...well, just don’t tell them anything. Scammers can use almost any information you give them to make a buck at your expense.
- Call your utility company, using the number on your bill. Tell them about the call and — if you still wonder— ask if the call was for real.
- If you want to consider using a third-party utility company, check with the utility regulatory agency in your state to understand your rights and how these companies are supposed to work.
- Tell the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint if you spot this or any other scams.