Be wary of calls telling you you’ve overpaid your utility bill

Have you received an automated call telling you that you’ve paid too much on your utility bill? The caller probably told you that you were eligible for a refund or a discount on your future payments.

If all of this sounds a bit fishy, that’s because it probably is. Utility companies aren’t the type to cut you a check. If you did happen to overpay on a bill, the difference would likely show up as a credit on your next statement. You should be suspicious if you receive this type of call. Here are some steps you can take to ensure you don’t get taken advantage of:

  • Hang up the phone: You aren’t going to hurt the feelings of a machine. Do not enter any numbers into the phone or respond to any voice instructions. Doing so could make you the target of more robocalls. Above all, do not provide any personal information. Do not give out your Social Security number, bank account numbers, or any other details which may be used to take advantage of you.
  • Follow-up with your utility company: There’s a tiny chance the call could be legitimate. It’s unlikely, but it can’t hurt to call your utility company to make sure. At the very least, doing so can help put your mind at ease. You will also put your utility provider on notice that their name is being used in a possible scam.
  • File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC): If you’re reasonably sure this is a fraudulent call, you should be sure to file a complaint with the FTC. This will help put the incident on the agency’s radar and help give them enough information to shut down the scam.

If you’ve fallen victim to a call like this or a similar scam, you may have legal options. You should discuss your situation with a skilled professional who can help determine the best path forward.