(WMC-TV) – Entergy and Memphis Light, Gas, and Water are warning customers of a utility bill scam targeting people in several states.
The scammers are telling customers that President Obama approved special funding for utility assistance. They then ask customers, who are interested in the assistance, for personal information like social security numbers.
Next, customers are given a fake bank routing number in which to pay their bills.
People are being targeted in person, on the phone, and online.
One of Entergy's customers spoke out about becoming a victim of this scam.
Paulette Bell said she is usually skeptical when someone tells her she can get something for nothing. But when a co-worker told her about a way to save money on her power bill, she listened.
"They wanted your checking account number or your VISA card number or some number, but every time I put mine in, it kept declining," Bell said. That is when she called Entergy.
When she called, she found out she was one of hundreds of customers who had been duped.
Entergy spokesperson Sheila Pounders said the company is still dealing with these calls. It turns out the bank numbers people used are connected to a real account with the federal government, which is why some customers were actually able to get their energy bills paid.
"They may see it post today, if they're checking electronically or calling to see if the payment's posted, but over the next couple of days, they're gonna see that all of these payments are returned from the bank," Pounders said.
If you believe you are a victim of this scam, you are asked to call MLGW at 901-544-MLGW.