Sen. Hune: Be on the lookout for scammers

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LANSING — State Sen. Joe Hune is warning residents of the 22nd Senate District to be on the lookout for scammers claiming your utility bills will be paid through a new federal program. These claims are false.

In fact, utility companies across the state are warning their customers about this new scam, where consumers are contacted over the phone, door-to-door, via text message and through fliers.

“If someone comes to your door or calls you claiming that your utility bills will be paid by the federal government, do not give them your personal information,” said Hune, R-Hamburg Township. “Just like my dad said to me growing up, ‘If it’s too good to be true, then it probably is.’”

According to the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC), the scammers claim that a special federal government assistance program authorized by President Barack Obama is applying payments to utility bills.

Victims are asked to provide their Social Security numbers or other personal identifying information in exchange for a bank routing number that will allegedly pay their utility bills.

“You should never, under any circumstance give your personal information, especially your financial account numbers or Social Security number, to someone who calls or solicits you over the Internet,” Hune said.

The MPSC advises anyone receiving calls from someone claiming to be with your utility company who pressures you for immediate payment or personal information to hang up and call the customer service number on your utility bill.

For more tips on preventing utility fraud, see the MPSC’s “Consumer Tips” at www.michigan.gov/documents/mpsc/mpsc-ca_utilityservicefraud_211946_7.pdf. You can also contact the Michigan Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at1-877-765-8388.

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