OPPD Customers Targeted in Nationwide Utility Scam
Scammers say President Obama will pay customer's utility bills
Omaha, NE - How would you like if you didn't have to pay your next energy bill? Sound too good to be true? That's because it is and it's the latest scam to hit utility customers across the Metro.
"It's awful, you know there's so much of that stuff going around now. The average guy just has to be so careful," Bob Sweetwood said.
Omaha Public Power District says scam artists are calling customers to tell them President Obama has approved a new federal assistance program to help customers pay their utility bills online. "They give them a phony bank account number, they give them a routing number and they say you can use this but in order to use this you have to be registered, so why don't you give us your social security number and your driver's license," OPPD spokesman Mike Jones said.
The scammers then take that personal information. Next thing you know, your money is gone and your bill is unpaid. In addition to calling customers, scammers are going door-to-door handing out pamphlets trying to lure customers then steal their money.
The Better Business Bureau reports the online scam has hit at least eight states over the past several weeks. "It just reminded me you have to be extra careful when you're dealing with information online," Daniel Halm said.
So far four customers have been targeted but did not lose any money. OPPD warns customers to never give out your personal information, and if you have any questions, call the utility company directly.