(UNDATED) - The Federal Trade Commission is warning about the latest scam.
The caller sounds convincing, telling you that if you don't pay your utility bills, your gas, electricity or water will be shut off. The caller requests you pay using a specific and unusual method.
The FTC, state and local consumer protection agencies and utility companies have gotten several complaints from consumers about utility bill scams.
The caller is informed that their services will be cut off unless you call a number or click on a link and give your account information.
Officials say most utility companies don't ask you to send your account information by email. The caller is also demanding you wire the money or use a prepaid or reloadable debit or gift card to pay your bill. Officials say legitimate companies don't demand you use those methods to pay.
The caller tells you to call a phone number and give your credit, debit or prepaid card number. Officials say if you do that, the scammer can access the money from your credit, debit or prepaid card, and you can't trace where your money went.
Officials say to protect yourself, never wire money to someone you don't know. Make sure you're dealing with your utility company, call the company using the number on your bill and ask if you're behind before paying any amount.
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