Annual Reports Legislative Roster Media Center News Releases Storm Center Today in Mississippi
July 03, 2012
Various scams promising payment of electric bills are targeting members of electric power associations in Mississippi.
The scammers’ ultimate goal is to steal their victims’ money or identity, or both, by obtaining private financial information.
In one scam, an unidentified caller asks the victim to provide personal bank account information and the bank routing number in exchange for getting the victim’s electric bill paid. In another scam, a caller who said he represents “Community Action Agency” claims he will pay the member’s utility bills and other expenses if the member will send in a portion of the amount owed via a Pay Pal account or Western Union. Another scam claims President Barack Obama is helping consumers with their utility bills.
Of course, the scammer pockets the money and the expenses are not paid. The victim doesn’t realize he still owes for the expenses until he gets a notice that his account is delinquent or power is being disconnected.
The victims said they were told to call a toll-free number, where they were asked for private financial information including a number from their Social Security card.
Don’t fall for these scams. Never reply to a phone call, text message or email that asks for private information. Never share personal banking or identifying information with strangers or family members. And never forward money to a third party who claims they will pay your utility bills.
If you suspect a scam, contact the Consumer Protection Division of the Mississippi Attorney General’s office at 800-281-4418.