Utility Scam Gets Indiana Bankruptcy Lawyer’s Goat

July 23, 2012 9:00 pm Published by

Bankruptcy in Indiana readers know this by now: nothing gets my bankruptcy attorney “goat” more than scams.  You see, as a debt consolidation lawyer, I work hard to help people overcome financial hurdles and make a fresh financial start.  And what with all the layoffs and people not having health insurance, it can be hard to keep one’s head above water.  Then, when crooks make things even worse, that doesn’t sit well will any of my colleagues in the Zuckerberg bankruptcy law offices, I can tell you.

One of the latest scams has to do with people’s utility billsIn fact, neighbors of one of our Columbus bankruptcy lawyers fell for this very scam.  First the couple received a post card telling them the utility help program could pay up to $1000.  After Mr. & Mrs. V. asked for more information, a “representative” visited them, explaining he was from an agency hired by the federal government, and that the Obama administration was helping people with their utility bills during this extra-hot summer. All they needed to do was fill out some forms with a copy of their utility bill, their social security numbers, and credit card or bank account out of which they usually paid their electric bill. Then the V’s were given a bank routing number to give to their utility company when making a payment.  He asked them if their neighbors and friends knew about this government program, and encouraged them to spread the word.

As a longtime bankruptcy attorney in Indiana, I’ve seen a lot of scams, and they all lead to one destination: identity theft.  And, all too often, identity theft helps cause personal bankruptcy in Indiana, and sometimes small business bankruptcy in Indiana. In the case of Mr. & Mrs. V., it took months to straighten things out. They needed to cancel all their credit cards and get new account numbers for every account they had. Fortunately, they got “wise” before their bank accounts could be looted.

Actually, there’s another form of scam revolving around bank accounts that Indianapolis lawyers for bankruptcy have been seeing.  Emails, faxes, and letters appear to come from the FDIC, even using the FDIC's official seal.  The email title often is "Check your bank deposit insurance coverage."

Remember, one of the best ways to protect your financial and emotional health, along with that of your children, is to avoid becoming a victim of a scam.  I'm in the business of curing credit problems, while scammers do nothing but create problems for innocent people. Often, innocent victims are already having financial difficulties and are more vulnerable than ever. I’ve been spreading the word among all the good bankruptcy attorneys in Indiana, including my colleagues the Columbus bankruptcy lawyers and those in Anderson, Bloomington, Richmond, and Indianapolis who work in the Zuckerberg bankruptcy law offices.  I've been warning all the attorneys who attend professional courses that I teach.

You need to spread the word, too.  Watch out for scams and tell your friends.  If you suspect a scam, call the offices of the Indiana Attorney General at 1 800 232 6330 or go to the website at http://in.gov/2434.htm.
 

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This post was written by Mark Zuckerberg

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