Beware of utility company scams
Looking to save money right now? No matter how COVID has impacted your finances, be sure to say “no” to this scam deal. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has received reports of con artists impersonating internet, cable tv, or electricity company representatives. They claim to offer a great deal or rebate on your bill, but it’s really a way to trick unsuspecting customers into shelling out hundreds of dollars.
How the scam works
You receive an unsolicited call offering you reduced rates on your cable bill. Speaking to the “customer service representative” may be quite convincing. Many scammers use the same hold music as big-name cable companies and duplicate a company’s caller menu.
The caller explains that the company is offering a special promotion. If you pay several months upfront, you can receive a discounted monthly rate or free perks, like premium cable channels. In another version of the con, the caller claims that you overpaid on a recent bill and are due for a rebate.
Then, instead of using the payment information your cable company already has, they ask you to purchase pre-paid debit cards to make the up-front payment. Don’t do it.
Never make payments with prepaid debit cards or gift cards. Scammers prefer these payment methods because there is nothing you can do to get your money back. Remember, legitimate companies almost always accept checks and credit cards as the primary means of payment.
If someone shows up at your doorstep, verify their identity. If you weren’t expecting a visit, ask the person for their ID and then call your cable company to verify that they are an employee.