Nationwide Utility Scam Cheating Hundreds of Customers

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By Enrique Correa

CLEVELAND -- It's an offer that sounds too good to be true and it isn't--it's a scam. 

The nationwide scam claims President Obama is authorizing the government to pay your utility bills up to $1,000. All you have to do is go online and put in a number on the back of your social security card, plus a special routing number. It almost seems legit, but it isn't legit at all.

Carl Trice says he knows some people who have been taken by the scheme, so he is educating his neighbors about the bogus offer.

"They lose their entire identity and most senior citizens don't have that much in their account. What if they can get your name, your social security number, new credit cards or whatever?"

Thieves are using social media like Facebook, Twitter, text messages and even phone calls with bogus claims to lure unsuspecting customers. 

Sharon Johnson of Cleveland says, "It’s unfortunate that they would use the president for this scam figuring people would trust it and have these people   go online and use their false accounts."

Some believe the scam is spreading so quickly because utility payments are processed before the utility companies catch onto the con, plus victims are getting confirmation notices that their bills are paid--but the bills are not being paid at all.

 Utility companies are urging if you are contacted by the scammers to call police.

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