DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Water and Sewerage officials in Detroit are warning customers about a scheme involving claims that a new federal program is available to pay their utility bills.

According to the Better Business Bureau, utility customers have been contacted in person, through fliers, through social media, and via text messages with claims that President Obama can provide credits or apply payments to their bills.

The scammers then direct the customers to send their Social Security and bank routing numbers. In return, customers are given a false bank routing number that will supposedly pay their utility bills.

In truth, there is no money in the “program,” and customers believe they’ve paid their bills, when in fact, they have not.

Detroit Water and Sewerage officials say customers should not give any personal or confidential information to anyone claiming to be part of programs to pay their bills.

Officials say customers also should keep records of payment verification, and should never assume a pending payment has been accepted until the payment is verified with the customer account number.

For more information on the utility bill payment scam, visit the Better Business Bureau’s website.

TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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