Newnan Utilities warns of utility bills scamBy ALEX MCRAE
Newnan Utilities officials are alerting customers about a scam that promises the government will pay utility bills in exchange for personal and financial information.
A July 12 release from Newnan Utilities said:
How the Scam Works:
Identity thieves persuade victims that a special federal government assistance program -- sometimes described as a bailout authorized by President Barack Obama’s administration -- is available to pay their utility bills. Victims are given bank account and routing numbers to use when paying their bills online, but only after they ‘register’ by surrendering their Social Security numbers and other personal information. It should also be noted that news of this phony program is being spread by users of social media, such as Facebook and Twitter.
Tips to Avoid Falling for this Scam:
“Never provide your Social Security number, credit card number or banking information to anyone requesting it over the phone or at your home unless you initiated the contact and feel confident with whom you are speaking.
“Customers who have doubts about the legitimacy of any call or visit from anyone promising utility assistance or service, especially one in which payment or personal information is requested, should contact their local service provider.
“If you believe you have been a victim of this scam or suspect your identity has been stolen, please contact your local law enforcement agency. Customers within the city of Newnan should contact the Newnan Police Department at 770-254-2355.”