A new scam in Polk County is preying on those who can’t keep up with their payments.
The video tutorial and blog claims to help those out who have fallen behind on car loans, credit card debt and most recently, utility bills.
It promises to pay the debt using a federal reserve fund and provides a bank routing number.
“The only end game we can think of is to try to get your social security number,” Kelly Kautz with Lakeland Electric, says.
The online site provides these routing numbers:
This false bank information coupled with the victim’s social security number is then give to whichever company the payment is being sent to.
Though, the bank number is rejected and now the scammers have the social security number.
In some cases, this can result in late fees and even identity theft.
Kissimmee Utility Association has already reported six transactions like this.
Lakeland Electric has had one customer fall victim.
“It did go through the routing process and it was rejected by our payment system,” Kautz said.
Bob Read with LegalShield says only providing your social security number to secure sites is smart and even then, only providing the last four digits is necessary.
“A lot of companies right now are just accepting your last four digits of your Social Security number, if you see an area where it says list your Social Security number just write in your last four digits and they may complain about it but normally they will accept just the last four,” Read recommends.
Lakeland Electric says on top of that, if you’re having problems paying bills to contact them directly.
“We have eight different ways to pay and we are never going to call and solicit you,” Kautz says.