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Financially Fit

Tis the Season for Utility Scams


The cold is upon us and thus a fresh new round of scams are in season! Unfortunately, scammers don’t take any holidays. Scammers are always looking for an opportunity to capitalize on panicked victims, so this time they are targeting your utility bills!

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), people are reporting that they are receiving calls from someone posing as their utility company and are claiming that you owe them money. The caller will then give you the ultimatum that you pay them or they are going to shut off your utilities, such as your heat. The FTC recommends that when you get a call like this, hang up the phone immediately and call the number on your latest utility bill. From there you can confirm whether or not you owe the utility company anything.

By now you should know to never wire money or pay with a gift card when some requests it as payment! Your utility company will never ask you to pay this way. This is the most common form of payment requested by scammers over the past few years and should always raise a red flag when you are handling your finances. They request you pay this way, because then the payment becomes nearly impossible to track and recover.

Lastly, it is important that you report any scam you might have encountered! Reporting a scam now can help prevent others from falling victim in the future. Any time you believe a scammer is trying to take advantage of you, please report it to the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov. Share with others the scams you are seeing too! Anything you can do to help others from becoming a victim is a great way of combatting scammers.

Keep your finances guarded this holiday season! If you ever have any questions regarding a potential scam or if something just doesn’t feel right, never hesitate to speak with a CES Credit Union representative. Better safe than sorry!

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