Whether we want to admit it or not, there are a myriad of scams occurring through phone calls and texts every day. While many people are familiar with the Auto Warranty Scam, another one to be aware of is the Utility Bills Scam. According to voip.com, “YouMail released a new robocall warning, saying that utility-related impostor robocalls are posing a concern to Americans. These utility scam calls claiming to be from major American gas, electric, and other utilities in order to swindle unwary victims by threatening them with instant disconnection if their “utility bills” are not paid quickly.” With that said, it’s important to examine the details of this scam in order to protect both yourself and your family.
In this article, we cover:
- What is the Utility Bills Scam?
- Why the Utility Bills Scam is dangerous
- How to protect yourself from the Utility Bills scam
What is the Utility Bills Scam?
While the details of these scam calls can vary, they typically threaten the user by saying their service is going to end and that they need to click a key to make a payment. While some calls are made from a random number and mention a vague firm name, others come from a local number. Some even utilize caller ID spoofing and appear to be from a reputable local utility company. Voip.com notes that “apparently, these con artists are seeking to exploit the growing number of households who are having trouble paying their power bills. The National Energy Assistance Directors Association estimates that 1 in 6 American households, or over 20 million homes, are at risk of being scammed.” Thus, it’s important to both be aware and protect yourself from the dangers of this scam.
Why the Utility Bills Scam is dangerous
The Utility Bills Scam is dangerous for a myriad of reasons. For one, these scammers seek to take advantage of people who are having trouble paying their bills. As a result, around one in six (over 20 million) American homes are at risk. According to voip.com, “these calls are being made around the nation, posing as practically all of the major utilities in the US. Customers may be receiving real payment reminders from their utilities, making it difficult for them to identify these calls as scammers. The harm caused by these robocalls has also increased dramatically; according to several utilities, a successful scam now results in losses of $650 on average.” As a result, if you don’t take proper precautionary measures, you are putting yourself in an extremely vulnerable position.
How to protect yourself from the Utility Bills scam
Protecting yourself from the Utility Bills scam is easier than you think. Not only can you let unknown calls go straight to voicemail, but you can also download an app like YouMail to provide extra layers of protection. Alex Quilici, CEO of YouMail, noted that “the only prudent thing for a consumer to do is simply let these [scam] calls roll to voicemail and then call their utility directly at the phone number on their bill or on the utility website. In addition, it’s wise for consumers to run robocall blocking apps like YouMail to filter out most of these calls automatically, saving them time and trouble.”
To protect yourself from scams, download YouMail today.
Find about more Robocall Scams at the YouMail Robocall Scam Guide.