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Utility payment scam spreads to Tennessee

Friday, July 13, 2012

A widespread scam that claims to pay utility bills has made its way to Tennessee.

Two of Tennessee's rural electric cooperatives reported incidents involving the scam on Monday, July 9, according to the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association.

The state's rural electric cooperatives are warning members to be aware of a bill-paying scam that asks them to disclose Social Security and bank routing numbers.

No program

Scammers claim electric consumers can have their utility bills paid under a federal government program. However, no such program exists.

The solicitations have been made door-to-door, online and by phone. Members are asked for personal information and then given fake bank account numbers to use for making a payment on their utility bill.

Members are urged to alert police if they're contacted about the scam.

The Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association is a trade group representing the interests of Tennessee's 23 electric distribution cooperatives and the 1.1 million members they serve.