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Financial Fraud Law

That Call to Pay Your Electric Bill with Paypal? Could Be a Fraud

 Imagine receiving a phone call from a utility company saying it is about to cut off your electricity. The caller ID looks like it might be a legitimate phone number, but you know you’ve paid your bill. The caller says, “I can stop this, but only if you pay me.”

It’s a scam, but there’s a new twist.  Instead of asking you to wire money, according to the Federal Trade Commission, a new scam wants consumers to use GreenDot, buy a prepaid gift card, or use PayPal. Scammers using reloadable debit cards, gift cards, or PayPal is not new, but it’s growing. It lets them get money from consumers in a way that they will never get it back.
Scammers can use computers to make it look like they’re calling from one place – when, in fact, they’re someplace else.  If a person gets a call, email, text, or even a visit from someone asking for a payment via PayPal, or to buy a GreenDot card or a gift card, it’s probably a scam.  Instead, people should call their utility company on the phone number that appears on their bill, describe what happened, and report the scammers to the Federal Trade Commission, online or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP.


  • It's amazing how these scammers come up with a plan to steal people's money and identity. This is why I encourage family and friends to read posts at where the most recent feedback on fraudulent calls are being reported. It may be difficult to stop the scammers from calling but as long as we are aware, we will never fall victim to any phone scheme.