It's the middle of summer, and much of the US and Canada is running their air conditioners to beat the heat. But these cooler homes translate into higher electricity bills. Scammers use this opportunity to tempt consumers with the promise of lower energy payments. Don't fall for this con.
How the Scam Works
You get a call from someone claiming to represent a local energy company or government agency. This "representative" says that they are part of a program to help homeowners lower their energy bills. The details vary; this "program" may involve registering for tax credits, enrolling in an alternative energy program, or signing up with a competitive energy supplier.
Be sure to do your homework before accidentally falling for a scam! In some cases, con artists want to enroll you in a non-existent program or sign up for tax credits, which requires you sharing personal information, such as your Social Security or Social Insurance number. This opens you up to the risk of identify theft. In other versions, the "program" involves paying upfront for future energy savings that never materialize.
Tips to avoid an energy bill scam:
Here are some tips for spotting scams that claim to help you lower your energy bills:
For More Information
The American Collation of Competitive Energy Suppliers provides resources for consumers to evaluate competing energy company offers.