Scam claims “Obama” bank routing number will pay bill
Jonesboro, Ark. — July 13, 2012 — Craighead Electric Cooperative wants members to be aware of a scam that is threatening the identities of thousands of victims across the country.
As part of the scam, the scammers advise victims that they are part of a program developed by President Obama to pay their electric bill for them. The scammers continue by telling victims that to participate in the program, they have to register their Social Security Number.
The unsuspecting victims give scammers the Social Security Number, and in return the scammers supposedly give a Federal Reserve Bank routing number to use to pay their bill electronically.
At this point, the scammers have the name and Social Security Number of the victims, which is all they need to commit identity theft.
The victims are left thinking they have valid banking information and attempt to make an electronic payment online through their utility. In some instances, victims may think the program is valid because it will appear that the payment has processed when the account shows a zero balance.
Unfortunately, these payments are rejected by the bank as a fraudulent account number and returned to the utility in a manner similar to a returned check.
Ultimately, victims are left owing their utility bill and possibly returned-check fees, as well as losing their identity.
Craighead Electric strongly urges members never to give out their Social Security Number or financial information to anyone claiming to be associated with this program, or any similar programs, that are claiming to provide this type of assistance.
Anyone who has been contacted by one of these scammers, or is a victim of this scam, is encouraged to contact the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office on its Consumer Protection Hotline at 800-482-8982.