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BBB warns of utility scams

Utilities
Utilities(kfyr)
Published: May. 2, 2022 at 4:09 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Better Business Bureau Serving Greater Cleveland is asking for people to be on alert for a phishing scam where scammers pretend to be third-party companies that are collecting on energy bills. These scams can take place through text messages, phone calls, and sometimes door-to-door operations.

One scam, in particular, can seem very legitimate but could cost you hundreds. Below is the report:

“Recently a Cleveland woman residing near the Brooklyn area told BBB that she was a victim of a utility scam and related identity theft. The woman told BBB staff that she received a “knock on my door from a guy who was dressed in work clothes” and who was driving, what appeared to be, a work truck for Dominion Gas. The man told the woman he “was there to shut off services” if she didn’t pay right away. The man provided the woman with a number to call and instructed her to pay $400 with her debit card. The woman didn’t realize she was scammed until a few months later when she called Dominion Gas and was told they never received a $400 payment. Shortly after the man’s visit, the consumer also started to experience identity theft issues stemming from the misuse of her debit card. The consumer canceled her card and contacted BBB”.

BBB has provided the following tips to avoid scams:

  • Be Skeptical: robocalls should lead to skepticism. Do not verify information until you verify the caller.
  • Don’t Panic: If scammers try and induce panic with past due bills, verify your account status in a separate way.
  • Call Back: When in doubt, hang up and call back on numbers listed through the company website.
  • Don’t let workers in without an appointment: Never let someone in without an appointment, and ask for identification.

BBB asks that anyone report scams to BBB.org/ScamTracker.

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