Alabama Targeted by Utility Bill Scammers


By Tamika Bickham

A scam involving utility bills is sweeping the nation and now it's hit Alabama. What do you need to know to protect your identity?

Co-ops, like Pioneer Electric, and the Better Business Bureau are warning members about the scam, which tells customers that President Barack Obama will pay their utility bills if they provide their personal information, like their bank routing number or social security number.

In return, the consumers are given a fraudulent routing number to pay their utility bills.

When the unsuspecting victim goes to pay their bill online and enters the given routing number, it seems to go through.

It's not until later they realize their cable, electric, or gas bill hasn't been paid, but at that point it's too late. The thieves already have your personal information.

"It's the perfect time of the year to take advantage of people because they need help paying their bills," said Angela Green, spokesperson for Pioneer Electric.

As of Monday, Pioneer Electric has confirmed that at least one of their customers was scammed.

Alabama Power and Dixie Electric say they've each been notified by at least two customers who say they've gotten the suspicious phone call, but there's no way of telling just how many have actually fallen victim to this.

When asked if they are anticipating more reports of this activity, Dixie Electric Spokesperson Terri Faulkner said, "Unfortunately, probably so."

Remember to never give out your social security number or any other personal information over the phone.

If you believe you have been contacted by possible scammers or became a victim to this scam, you should notify the Attorney General's office.

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