72-year-old retired IB officer tricked by electricity bill scam: What are utility scams and how they work – Times of India


In a recent incident, a 72-year-old retired Intelligence Bureau officer residing in Mulund became a target of a utility scam. The victim received a fraudulent notice claiming unpaid electricity bills, resulting in a financial loss of Rs 7.35 lakhs. The prevalence of such utility scams is increasing, leading to financial losses for numerous individuals.
Here we explain to you what a utility scam is and how you can stay safe.
What is a utility scam
A utility scam is a type of fraud in which scammers pose as representatives of legitimate utility companies, such as electric companies, gas companies, or water companies. The scammers then try to trick you into giving them money or personal information.
How the utility scam works
Scammers use various methods to trick the users. Here are some of the common ways
* Calling you and pretending to be a representative of your utility company. They may say that you owe money on your bill and that your service will be disconnected if you don’t pay immediately.
* Sending you an email or text message that looks like it’s from your utility company. The email or text message may say that you need to update your account information or that you’ve won a prize.
* Coming to your door and pretending to be a utility worker. They may say that they need to check your meter or that they need to do some work on your home.
Tips to stay safe from utility scams
– Never give out your personal information or financial information to someone over the phone, by email, or by text message.
– If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from your utility company, hang up and call the company back using the number on your bill or their website.
– Be suspicious of anyone who comes to your door and asks to see your utility bill or who asks to come inside your home.
– Never pay a bill with a prepaid card or by wiring money.
– Report any suspicious activity to your utility company and the authorities.

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