Scammers posing as government officials ripping off citizens

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by Mike Colombo / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on July 3, 2012 at 10:47 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jul 4 at 6:09 AM

ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- The heat has left residents with high utility bills, but be careful. Tuesday News 4 learned scammers are making bogus offers to help you make your payments.

They claim to work for the government and offer you money in exchange for your social security number. 

The government has a hard enough time paying its own bills, much less the public’s utility bills, so if you get one of these calls, it’s too good to be true.

Unfortunately, the Better Business Bureau says couple St. Louisians have already fallen victim to this scam.

It wasn’t the president who called, but the woman who contacted News 4 says the person on the other line told her President Obama was going to pay her utility bills. All she had to do was give them her social security number so they could begin the process.

The BBB wants to warn consumers that’s just not how it works.

“The government is not going to call you on the phone or send you an e-mail telling you they’re giving you money and that all you have to do is provide them with something,” said Chris Thetford of the BBB. “You need to be really careful if you get a phone call where promises like that are made not to give your social security number out or any personal information.”

As expensive as your utility bills may be and as tempting as these offers may sound, hang up the phone and delete the e-mail. You may save your identity from being stolen

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