Florida warns about utility bill scam spreading via text, social media

Florida authorities are spreading the word about a utility bill scam that tricks victims into giving up personal information to the wrong people.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services today issued an alert about a multi-state scam targeting utility customers.

How it works: Scammers tell victims that President Obama is providing credits or applying payments to utility bills. Consumers are contacted via social media, texting and in person starting with a knock on the door. The scammers ask for a social security number and then provide a phony federal reserve bank routing number to use to receive the credit or bill payment. Bottom-line: No payments are posted to the consumer's bill. Check out this story by Sun Sentinel writer Marcia Pounds about Florida Power & Light victims.

Tips:

Do not respond to posted fliers making this claim and do not offer any personal information if contacted via text, Facebook or other means. Never give up your social security number to stranger in response to unsolicited emails or social media posts.

Keep in mind that official utility employees wear a uniform and can provide proper identification. If you are suspicious, contact the utility company before allowing anyone in your home on your property.

For additional information, contact the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services at www.800helpfla.com or at 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352), 1-800-FL-AYUDA (352-9832) en Español.


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