Beware of power bill-paying scam

Beware of power bill-paying scam

North Carolina's electric cooperatives are urging members to be aware of a utility bill-paying scam affecting customers in North Carolina and nationwide. The scam falsely claims households are eligible for utility bill credits through a new federal program. No such program exists.

According to the Better Business Bureau, scammers contact consumers door-to-door and through phone calls, fliers, social media and text messages and ask for Social Security and bank routing numbers. Often, President Obama's name is mentioned. In return, consumers are given a phony bank routing number that will supposedly pay their utility bills. In reality, there is no money, and customers believe they have paid their bills when in fact they have not. Additionally, consumers put themselves at risk for identity theft when they give out personal information.

Electric cooperatives do not contact members to obtain personal identifiable information. Members should beware of anyone requesting this information. When in doubt of the identity of someone claiming to represent your cooperative in person or over the phone, try to verify the person's identity and notify your co-op if the person claims to represent the co-op.

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