Here’s The Newest Utility Bill Scam

Please Share

Carolyn Rosenblatt, RN, Elder law attorney, AgingParents.com

We live in a county with a high number of older residents. A neighbor recently alerted all in our area to yet another scam she had encountered, targeting the unsuspecting. Here’s how it works:

The scammer makes a threatening phone call to a normal utility customer, posing as a representative of the local utility company. The caller tells the person that their electricity will be cut off shortly for failure to pay a bill. They leave a number to call back. The person calls the number which is answered with the utility company name, and music while on hold. The scammer then gets on the line, demands immediate payment, saying that the truck is on the way to cut off the electrical power to the person’s home. They ask for personal information, intimidating the person into giving it to them and insists that the only way to stop the truck is by express payment now.

People can be easily fooled by this, as it sounds legitimate. Here is how the neighbor described her take on this:

“I feel particularly bad for older folks who can easily be manipulated into providing sensitive information. The perps have not a shred of conscience and will say whatever it takes. Please alert your friends, especially older folks, that the callers are very convincing and they use psychological manipulation to weaken your stance; even so much as to humiliate or chasten you for the fictional accusation.”

Emotional manipulation is how the scammers succeed.  They create fear. They threaten. They take advantage of the person’s discomfort with the idea of having electricity cut off. They create doubt, even when a person knows the bill is paid or even paid by auto debit.

How can you protect your aging parents from becoming victimized? AgingParents.com, where we consult with families who have aging loved ones, we make three recommendations.

  1. First, let your loved ones know about the scam and to be on the alert for it. If your aging parents are clear-minded, that can help. Tell them this story and how scary it was for the person getting the threatening call. But many elders are forgetful, or have signs of early dementia. They can be manipulated easily no matter how much you try to educate them.
  2. If your aging parent has memory loss, offer to take over payment of monthly recurring bills such as the utility bill. Set up accounts online for you to oversee payment of all of these bills. You can track them, ensure that no bills are delinquent, and monitor spending. Removing access to bill payment can help you stop scammers cold. Your parent will know that the bills are your department and can tell the fake utility scammer to call you.
  3. Understand that scammers are everywhere looking for older people to rip off. They are clever, sneaky and have devised ways to make themselves look legit. Even if your aging parent is perfectly competent mentally, he or she can still be bullied by a professional thief. Look over your parent’s shoulder with finances to do everything possible to protect them from these evil fraudsters.

If you are having difficulty with an aging parent and need expert advice, get it at AgingParents.com so you can manage with less stress. We offer professional consultations, in addition to free resources such as blogs, YouTube videos, and books/eBooks.

Tiny URL for this post:
 

Please Share
JUST RELEASED “The Family Guide To Aging Parents”
Stack Of CashCheck out our latest website: AgingInvestor.com click HERE to learn more
FREE Report: “One Critical Step You Must Take To Avoid Your Aging Parents Debts”
CLICK on the image Below
Testimonials by our readers
"Thank you for the article on the "grey area". It validated what I am currently going through with my Mother. It is so painful for me to go back and forth with her behavior. I just don't know what to do about the estranged sister who has exploited well over $50K of my mother's savings and my Mothers admitted " lack of "will power" to say no to her." Robert ________________________________ "I do want to thank you for the Webinar you offered. It helped me a great deal as I was facing the need to lead our family in finding a safe living situation for our mother. That information and the other information you offered as downloads gave me much needed guidance when I was feeling tremendous anxiety and uncertainty." Betty
FREE Report: 10 Warning Signs Your Aging Parent Needs Help With Money
Get Quick Tips – Newsletter FREE…. Just CLICK Below
Categories
Archives
  • Some Feel Good News: An Uplifting Feat By A Centenarian May 30, 2020
    By Carolyn L Rosenblatt, RN, Attorney, Consultant, AgingParents.com With daily news of how many new COVID-19 cases we see and reports of how many deaths are happening, it’s a nice break to hear of a sweet and uplifting story. At…Read more ›
    Carolyn Rosenblatt
  • Form A Plan To Visit Your Aging Parents and Still Maintain Safety May 22, 2020
    Carolyn L. Rosenblatt, R.N., Attorney, Consultant, AgingParents.com For months, most of us have been following the quarantine rules, staying at home and respecting the infectious nature of COVID-19. We know that our elders, that is, people over 65 are at…Read more ›
    Mikol Davis
  • Five Ways Nursing Homes Can Stop The Tragic Spread Of COVID-19 May 1, 2020
    COVID-19 is particularly dangerous to our nation’s most vulnerable: those living in nursing homes. In some places, a state’s death rate from the disease is about 40-50% of all deaths from this pandemic. According to the Washington Post, the World…Read more ›
    Carolyn Rosenblatt
  • Vulnerable Aging Parents? Help Them With Legal Paperwork Now March 30, 2020
    Just about everyone understands that our elders are at greater risk because of the corona virus. The facts are inescapable: risk of serious illness is worse for those over 65, especially with other medical conditions like high blood pressure as…Read more ›
    Carolyn Rosenblatt
FREE Report: Mental Wellness Technique For Stress Relief