Scheme leads customers to believe the government will pay their - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Scheme leads customers to believe the government will pay their utility bills

Posted: Updated:
FLINT (WJRT) -

(07/13/12) - It's a promise the federal government will pay your utility bill, but in the end, people end up losing money and giving out personal information.

Victims are being contacted over the phone or in person in at least a dozen states, including right here in Mid-Michigan.

Debra Dodd, who's a spokesperson for Consumers Energy, says at least 1,000 customers have been affected by the scheme so far.

Her office has sent out notices warning people not to fall for it, and so has the mayor's office in Flint.

Jozette Humphrey says she fell for the utility scheme that leads customers to believe that the federal government will pay their water bills.

"I think that was really scandalous for them to even do this and the killing thing is they're hollering about the Obama Scam. I'm sure that our president of the United States wouldn't be doing us like this," Humphrey said.

She received a phone call this week from someone who said they worked for the federal government.

Jason Lorenz, the Public Information Officer for the city of Flint, says if you get a phone call from anyone claiming the government is offering relief in the form of grants, don't believe what you hear.

"They ask for personal information to set up an account. They give an account number and a routing number to people and they say 'use this until you pay your utilities.' When they go to pay their utilities, not only is there no money in the account, but now all their personal information belongs to this unknown individual," Lorenz said.

Humphrey says she gave that caller her social security number. When she went to check on the bill Friday, that's when Humphrey realized she was out of more than $800.

"Yeah, I went for it and I hate that I did because I messed my own self up in there. I had to pay my bill, the check, it did go through and I tried to cancel the bill. She said it already went through and I know it's going to come back as a bounced check on me," she said.

Lorenz is warning utility customers that the government doesn't ask for your personal information and if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

"You know how I'm feeling now, like crap. Watching, sitting at home on the couch, watching to see is Consumers going to pull up. Is the water company going to pull up and cut me off. I can't afford to be cut off," Humphrey stated.

Consumers Energy is also putting out information on their website about this scheme. You can find that information HERE

You should call local police if you believe you may have become a victim.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Search underway for missing fisherman on Lake Fenton

    Search underway for missing fisherman on Lake Fenton

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 11:05 PM EDT2014-07-24 03:05:33 GMT
    61-one-year-old James Lehmkuhle went fishing on Lake Fenton, Tuesday morning, and never returned.
    61-one-year-old James Lehmkuhle went fishing on Lake Fenton, Tuesday morning, and never returned.
  • Mid Michigan company rewarded for expanding and bringing news jobs to the area

    Mid Michigan company rewarded for expanding and bringing news jobs to the area

    Mid Michigan company rewarded for expanding and bringing news jobs to the area

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 11:40 PM EDT2014-07-24 03:40:35 GMT
    This picture is from video from inside of the gas station at the corner of Saginaw and Baldwin Roads near the Oakland County border.This picture is from video from inside of the gas station at the corner of Saginaw and Baldwin Roads near the Oakland County border.
    (07/23/2014) - A Mid Michigan company is being rewarded for bringing new jobs to the area.Walbro Engine Management was established in 1950 in Fenton and since then has moved to Cass City. The company is investing over $4,000,000 to expand that facility. The expansion plans to bring 28 new jobs to the area. As a result, Walbro will receive a $165,000 grant from the Michigan Business Development Program. If you're interesting in applying for one of these new jobs click here.
    (07/23/2014) - A Mid Michigan company is being rewarded for bringing new jobs to the area.Walbro Engine Management was established in 1950 in Fenton and since then has moved to Cass City. The company is investing over $4,000,000 to expand that facility. The expansion plans to bring 28 new jobs to the area. As a result, Walbro will receive a $165,000 grant from the Michigan Business Development Program. If you're interesting in applying for one of these new jobs click here.
  • Flint Farmer's Market called one of the best in Michigan

    Flint Farmer's Market called one of the best in Michigan

    Flint Farmer's Market called one of the best in Michigan

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 11:32 PM EDT2014-07-24 03:32:49 GMT
    (07/23/2014) - The Flint Farmer's Market was noted as one of the best farmer's markets in the state.The recognition comes one month after the market's grand opening at its new location. The article in Healthier Michigan says "the market is a unique blend of food, artists, and musicians." Michigan has over 300 farmer's markets.
    (07/23/2014) - The Flint Farmer's Market was noted as one of the best farmer's markets in the state.The recognition comes one month after the market's grand opening at its new location. The article in Healthier Michigan says "the market is a unique blend of food, artists, and musicians." Michigan has over 300 farmer's markets.
Powered by WorldNow

abc12.com

ABC12 Main Station
810-233-3130

Mailing Address:
2302 Lapeer Road
Flint, Michigan 48503

Powered by 

WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WJRT. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.