Shedding The Light On Electric Bill Scams
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Shedding the Light on Electric Bill Scams

THE LIGHT ON ELECTRIC BILL SCAMS

Electricity is an essential part of modern living. Its importance in business, at home, and at work can never be stressed enough. Scammers know this much, too, which is why electric bill scams have been gaining quite a ground these past few months. The worst part about all this is that the scammers behind this despicable practice have become smarter and more daring – traits that are key to success in a fraudster’s world. With a little effort, however, you can easily outsmart these scammers and keep your light shining – both literally and otherwise.

THE MODUS OPERANDI

Scammers posing as employees of electric service providers call in the middle of the day with a warning pertaining to the delinquency of the victim’s account. They then proceed to threaten their victims with the IMMEDIATE cessation of their connection unless they pay up. The entire story becomes more realistic due to the ability of some scammers to manipulate the information being shown on caller ID. Some even have accomplices that come to the victim’s place in the hopes of intimidating them until they buckle under the pressure.

Business owners are particularly vulnerable to this type of operation, as they cannot simply allow their establishment to lose electricity, especially during business hours. Once baited, the scammers instruct their victims to purchase prepaid debit cards in order to pay for their bills. Once the details of the prepaid debit cards have been passed on, the scammers get to go on their merry way.

These scammers bank on the facts that (1) people are willing to do anything to keep their light on and (2) people under time pressure often do not think straight.

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO

Keep calm. People who have been victimized by these scammers admit to having panicked when threatened to have their light cut off. By keeping calm, you give yourself a better chance at thinking more logically. You are also less likely to act rashly – an instinct that scammers bank on whenever they take on a new victim.

Call your service provider. Keep in mind that some scammers are already able to manipulate the information seen on caller IDs. If your caller ID shows a call coming from your service provider, but the call, itself, seems to tickle your suspicion, then end the call and contact your service provider personally. Their customer service representatives should be able to give you the latest updates regarding your account – and in a less imposing manner, more likely.

Never let anyone if you aren’t 100% sure. Do not be afraid of not letting people you aren’t sure of inside your home. Legitimate or not, it is still YOU who has the final say regarding who gets the privilege of entering you home.

Never give out sensitive information: This is one steadfast rule in protecting yourself from all sorts of scams. Always keep in mind that your personal information should be yours and yours alone.

Pay your bills on time. Paying your bills on time should give you the comfort of knowing that your light will be on for at least another month. Making this a habit should also be able to instill in you some sort of confidence that will be of major help against various utility scams.


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