Bristol, TN – A multi-state scam has targeted utility customers across the country and in our local area.
BTES is warning its customers about the scam that aims to steal payments and personal identity information using in-person solicitations, social media, fliers, telephone calls and text messages. Customers have been told that President Obama has approved special funding through the Federal Reserve Bank for utility bill assistance, but there is not such funding. Scammers are asking customers for personal information, such as Social Security numbers. They then provide victims with a fraudulent bank routing number with which to pay their utility bills.
"BTES does not initiate calls to our customers requesting personal information," said Mike Browder, CEO of BTES. "There may be incidents where we have to contact our bank draft customers to verify that the information they gave us is correct. If that information is incorrect, we ask our customers not to give that information over the phone, but to use our online bank draft form; by fax at the number listed on your utility bill, website or telephone directory; or in person at our office."
BTES is urging customers to remain vigilant. Scam victims include customers in Florida, Pennsylvania, Indiana, North Carolina and Tennessee, thus far.
"We strive to make our customers aware of potential scams so they can protect themselves from becoming victims of identity theft and other fraudulent activities," said Browder.
BTES is reminding its customers to always proceed with caution if an offer sounds too good to be true.