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>>

  • Teen involved in shooting outside Bay County Juvenile Center had troubled past

    Teen involved in shooting outside Bay County Juvenile Center had troubled past

    Friday, August 29 2014 6:20 PM EDT2014-08-29 22:20:06 GMT
    We are learning new details about the teenager who was involved in Thursday's shooting outside a Bay County juvenile home.
    We are learning new details about the teenager who was involved in Thursday's shooting outside a Bay County juvenile home.
  • Midland PD offers "rules of the road" for first day of school

    Midland PD offers "rules of the road" for first day of school

    Monday, September 1 2014 4:49 PM EDT2014-09-01 20:49:39 GMT
    (09/01/14) - Ignoring rules of the road could cost you.Tuesday, Sept. 1 it's back to school, so now is a good time to brush up on school zone safety.First and foremost a child could be hurt if people don't follow traffic safety rules.Drivers who ignore some traffic laws, could also face fines and end up with points on their driving record.The idea is to keep kids like Eric Baczewski safe.He just learned to ride his bike, and is ready for his next challenge."He's very excited, yes. We drive by...
    (09/01/14) - Ignoring rules of the road could cost you.Tuesday, Sept. 1 it's back to school, so now is a good time to brush up on school zone safety.First and foremost a child could be hurt if people don't follow traffic safety rules.Drivers who ignore some traffic laws, could also face fines and end up with points on their driving record.The idea is to keep kids like Eric Baczewski safe.He just learned to ride his bike, and is ready for his next challenge."He's very excited, yes. We drive by...
  • Labor Day Bridge Walks

    Labor Day Bridge Walks

    Monday, September 1 2014 1:55 PM EDT2014-09-01 17:55:52 GMT
    (09/01/14)Bridge walks have become the norm across Michigan for Labor Day. But two Mid-Michigan communities have found a unique way to make turn a walk into a link between them.
    (09/01/14)Bridge walks have become the norm across Michigan for Labor Day. But two Mid-Michigan communities have found a unique way to make turn a walk into a link between them.
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.