Got a phone call from your bank or utility providers? Better make sure it’s really them.

Who Is It Targeting: Utility and bank customers for local areas

What Is It: A spoofed phone scam

What Are They After: Officials in one particular region have posted multiple warnings about a recent surge in phone scams. In some cases, the caller claims to be from the utility company, alerting customers that they may qualify for a discount. In other versions, the caller is supposedly from local area banks or credit unions, offering deals or checking up on “banking errors.”

In every case, the caller is after the victim’s personal information. Some of these scams also involve extortion, as the scammer threatens to cut off the utility service or close the checking account if immediate payment isn’t made.

How Can You Avoid It:

  • Never give out your sensitive personal information to someone who contacts you, even if it’s just to “verify” your account.
  • If you ever receive a call informing you of a problem with your account, hang up and contact the company yourself using a verified number.

If you think you may be a victim of identity theft, contact the Identity Theft Resource Center for toll-free, no-cost assistance at (888) 400-5530. Find more information about current scams and alerts here. For full details of this scam check out this article from NCPR.com.


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