Dayton, Ohio, July 12, 2012 — At a time when the recent heat wave may increase next month’s electric bills, utility customers are being taken in by an identity theft scheme that is sweeping the country.
Dayton Power & Light has received calls from customers who have been contacted by individuals who claim President Obama is paying utility bills as part of a bailout plan. Targets of the scam are asked to register for the program and to provide personal and financial information.
But there is no such program. The scammers are simply seeking personal information as part of a nationwide identity theft fraud. Unfortunately, many victims received forwarded emails or text messages from friends and family.
The scam uses email, Twitter, phone calls and even door-to-door visits. Sometimes, utility customers are asked to provide the number on the back of their Social Security cards. It is a way to get Social Security numbers, bank account or routing numbers to use in identity theft.
The scammers assure targets that their utility bills will be paid if the information is provided and in some cases they provide a confirmation number. But victims soon learn that the bill was not paid. And now the identity theft scammers have personal and financial information to deduct funds from victims’ accounts.