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Utility Scam Spreads Across State

Posted by Jennifer Ortega | July 03, 2012 / 04:19pm | Local News, Crime
LOWNDES COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) - It's becoming a wide spread issue all around the country as scammers are getting a hold of more personal information then ever before. "We've had hundreds of phone calls...talking to the attorney generals office they've had thousands of calls," said Jon Turner.

Many of those calls are coming from the Golden Triangle. Manager Jon Turner at 4 County Electric says he's never seen a fraud of this magnitude before. "We've had hundreds of phone calls over the past few days of folks who are inquiring about possible government payment of their utility bills and were trying to tell them that its not true..so were trying to take steps to keep them from becoming a victim of this fraud," added Turner.

Businesses are saying that scammers are making phone calls and sending text messages. They claim to be your cable, your insurance, and even your bank to get your personal information. Bankers say if you get a call from a number you don't recognize and they claim to be your bank, the best thing you can do is hang up and call your bank directly.

 "If your bank is calling you and it is legitimate they're not gonna ask you for your account number or any information like that," said Ruthie Moss, Assistant Vice President at Bank First. Moss says if a transaction is charged to a debit card it can be cancelled but it get more difficult when social security numbers are given out. "If they have give out bank account information it's a little bit more complicated because you might have to close your bank account and reopen it, better safe than sorry," added Moss.

The scam has spread to other businesses in the area and we're told Columbus Light and Water have been experiencing similar scamming problems. If you are a victim to scamming you can call the local attorney generals office for help.
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