FirstEnergy Corp. is warning its customers to be wary of bogus claims that President Obama will help pay utility bills for residential customers through a special federal program.
FirstEnergy spokesman Todd Meyers tells AkronNewsNow its a nationwide scam " The sign up for that program the scammers are asking people to turn over some pretty personal sensitive information, social security numbers I've heard, bank account information, perhaps credit card numbers, the kinds of things that set you up for identity theft."
The scammers supply customers with a phony bank routing number to pay.
Meyers any payments you send will not end up paying for your electric bill. No government dollars are applied to customer accounts and the full balance remains due.
"The real goal is not the money you're sending in for your electric bill, or utility bill. The real goal is capturing personal information, sensitive information. we all know where that goes,"says Meyers.
He says FirstEnergy doesn't authorize anyone to ask for your social security number or personal bank account information and doesn't solicit door to door.
If you're contacted by the scammers you're advised to call your local police department.
Meyers also has this advice for FirstEnergy customers.
Customers should only use methods authorized by FirstEnergy to pay their
Don’t allow persons claiming to be utility employees into your home
without checking for proper identification.
FirstEnergy utility employees always carry photo identification, and many
of our field employees wear uniforms and drive clearly marked company
FirstEnergy utility employees typically visit a home only in response to a
service request. If no one scheduled an appointment, do not allow the
person through the door