How People Can Stay Safe From Scammers During the Holidays

How People Can Stay Safe From Scammers During the Holidays

Scammers took around $14 million from people last year, with many people losing an average of more than $300. However, by understanding the different scams and how to avoid them, you could save time and money, and make sure you aren’t targeted again. Most scams in 2018 were ones where the scammer pretends to be someone else, like a family member or friend, or a company that’s requesting payment for a bill they claim you forgot about. However, you can use the following tips to make sure you don’t fall for a scam.

Track Bills Carefully

Make sure you keep track of what bills you’ve paid, when you paid them, and how you paid them. Scammers may call claiming you haven’t paid the bill, but if you have records of what you have paid, you can check them and you’ll realize the caller is a scammer. Most scammers try to use fear to get you to give them money, so they’ll claim they’re the utility company and your utilities are close to being cut off. However, utility companies will offer more notice before denying service, will send you mail about the issues, and will include a planned shut-off date.

No One Will Ask for Bank Information

Many scammers will claim to be a representative of a company that needs you to pay immediately, so they’ll call and ask for your banking information. Real utilities will allow you to pay over the phone, but it won’t be required. If the caller says it’s required for you to give them the banking information, whether it’s to pay a late bill or to receive a refund for an overpayment, it’s likely a scam. Instead, visit to report it.

No One Will Request Payment With Gift Cards

Scammers know that real utility companies will offer several types of payment, so they might request gift cards instead of your bank account information. However, utility companies will never ask to be paid in non-traditional forms of currency. This could include cryptocurrency or gift cards. Someone who requests payment using a method like this is a scammer, not your real utility company, so they should be reported to the Public Service Commission of South Carolina.

Utilities Won’t Ask to Come in Your Home

Utility companies will not just show up at your home and say they need to get inside to do maintenance. If you have been having problems, you’ll have scheduled an appointment with them and will be expecting them. Always ask for identification and request the date and amount of your last payment to the company. If they’re the real utility company, they’ll have this information, but a scammer will not be able to access it.

If you’re worried about being the victim of a scam, always ask for help. Consumer advocacy departments can answer questions about common scams or provide assistance if you have been a victim of any kind of scam. For more information or to get help checking on a scam, reporting a scam, or getting help after being a victim, visit now.

Media Contact
Company Name: Public Service Commission of South Carolina
Contact Person: Owner
Email: Send Email
Phone: 803-896-5100
Address:101 Executive Center Dr., Suite 100
City: Columbia
State: SC
Country: United States