MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Centerpoint Energy says that about 500 customers have fallen victim to a growing scam that claims President Barack Obama will pay their utility bills for them.

Xcel Energy also recently warned customers of the scam.

According to an alert from the Better Business Bureau, the scam artists call potential victims and tell them that they are giving out credits or applying payments to utility bills. Individuals are told they can make bill payments using a supplied but phony bank routing number. Individuals only get that number, however, after giving the scam artists their personal information.

“This scam is dangerous — especially in this economic climate. People who use the bogus account information to make their utility payments will find the charges quickly reinstated,” said Dana Badgerow, president of the BBB of Minnesota and North Dakota.

The scam artists are contacting potential victims via telephone, Twitter and texting.

The BBB asks that anyone receiving a call or message offering this scam contact them at 1-800-646-6222.

The organization also reminded that customers should never give out any personal information to unverified sources and unsolicited callers.


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