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The recent winter weather caused millions of people to have issues with their water and heat. Sadly, but not surprisingly, scam artists are using this unfortunate situation to steal money and personal financial information. The Federal Trade Commission is warning consumers of scammers posing as utility companies demanding payment to turn on gas and electricity or requesting bank account information to reimburse you for the inconvenience.

Here are a few tips from the FTC to help you avoid this scam and others:

  1. Utility companies don’t demand payment information by email, text, or phone.
  2. If the caller tells you to pay by gift card, cash reload card, money transfer, or cryptocurrency, it’s a scam.
  3. To contact the utility company or pay your bill by phone, call a number you KNOW is legitimate (number on your bill or on the company’s website).

Read more in the FTC’s latest post: Utility Scams Are Snow Joke