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Beware of scammers posing as government officials, warns BBB

POSTED May 22, 2012 2:43 p.m.

Better Business Bureau warns area consumers to be wary of telephone calls or solicitations claiming that government officials and agencies will pay their utility or cell phone bills.
BBB has received several inquiries in the past week regarding solicitors who, after claiming the government will pay bills, provide consumers with a routing number to use for payment. Consumers are then told to use a red number found on the back of their social security cards as the bank account number for the payment.
After payment is submitted, the payment is returned and consumers may be stuck with late payment or returned payment fees.
BBB reminds consumers to:
• Never share any information on a social security card with a third party.
• If any information is ever shared, keep a close eye on all financial statements.
• Review credit reports from all three credit reporting agencies once each year at
• If you have been a victim of identity theft, contact each credit reporting agency to place a fraud alert on your credit report and contact the Federal Trade Commission.
For more information on protecting your identity, visit


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