Consumer Watch Team Exposes Utility Bill Scam - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

Consumer Watch Team Exposes Utility Bill Scam

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By Amanda Taylor, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY – Unlike many cyber scams - the one Angela fell victim to, has a twist.

The perpetrator posts on Craigslist - advertising he has "funds to help pay your utility bills" for a fee of half of what you owe.

But here's the twist and what makes this scam so believable, when Angela called the man he told her not to pay him any money until after he paid her bills.

Angela said she was feeling relieved after he gave her confirmation numbers and she called her utility companies and confirmed payments had been made.

The next day she met them and paid their fee of $500, but a few days later her initial feeling of relief disappeared.

The utility companies called to warn they would disconnect Angela's services because the payment was returned.

"It's just a sick feeling in your stomach," she said.

Oklahoma Natural Gas Spokesman Don Sherry said he's familiar with the scam.

"The people perpetrating the scam are rather skillful making it appear they're making the payment," he said.

The scammers use a stolen or phony check.  For most utility companies their automated system will spit out a confirmation number, but it can take up to a week for the system to realize it's no good.

So, Consumer Watch's Amanda Taylor uses poses as a homeowner in need of help, paying her utility bills.

Watch the video as Amanda exposes the inner workings of the scam.

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