Several Utility Scams Reported Across Minnesota
You'd think in a time like 2022 scammers would let up a bit but in reality, it seems like they are only getting more persistent. Now, a handful of similar scams has been reported across the state.
In January, the Duluth Police Department warned residents of a scam making its way across the area. They stated that scammers were targeting Northlanders and posing as members of the Duluth Police Department in an attempt to gain trust.
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation also warned people in the region of a scam that would be pretty easy to fall for. With said scam, someone would get a text saying they needed to update some information for the DMV in an attempt to get personal information.
There are scams like this and then there are scams that are a bit more advanced, like a Minnesota woman who allegedly swindled victims out of nearly $130k by posing as a psychic and offering up her services for a large fee.
Thankfully, these scams don't go that far but they still could be easy to fall for. Several different cities and towns in Minnesota have reported utility scams circulating in the area. The scams are different but all center around a victim's utility bill.
One of those spots reporting suspicious activity is Saint Peter, Minnesota, which is near the Mankato area. They took to Facebook on Wednesday (February 9th), issuing a warning about a scam scenario that has been reported in that area.
As you can see, the scammer will reach out to a resident of the area and leave them a message on their phone, promising that they are eligible for some cash after they "overpaid" on one of their utility bills. Obviously, this is a way for scammers to get personal information from someone and even bank account information.
Another city in Minnesota also issued a similar warning to residents. This time, officials in Fairmont, Minnesota warned residents of a scam involving utility bills. This one is a bit different but has the same overall theme. They shared more about it on their official Facebook page.
In this edition of the scam, victims will get a call from a scammer claiming they haven't paid their bill in full and their utilities will shut off if they don't pay up. The reason this scam might be so easy to fall for is the fact that these scammers are manipulating the incoming call number, making it look like it really is from Fairmont's local utility company.
Last but not least, a third and similar scam was reported by Minnesota Seniors Online. They shared details on their official Facebook page on Monday (February 7th). They didn't give an exact location of just where this scam is being reported but did say it is happening statewide.
In short, scammers are targeting Minnesotans and posing as your local utility service. The scammers promise you fifty bucks a month as a thank you for paying your bill on time. To do so, they say they need your banking information. You know what happens from there.
If you receive a call or a voicemail similar to any of those I have mentioned, hang up immediately and report it so others don't fall victim to any of the scams. As always, do not give out any personal information or banking information to anyone online or otherwise.