President Obama may be liberal, but not even he is liberal enough to actually pay individual American's utility bills for them, as claimed by the latest identity theft scam now being spread by email, Twitter and text messages.
In this scam, the identity thief tries to convince you that in exchange for your personal information, including your social security number and bank's routing number - yeah, that's all - you will get a special Federal Reserve bank routing number that can be used when paying your utility bill online. The scam claims that by using this Federal Reserve bank routing number, your utility bill will be paid from a "special fund" set up by President Obama to help people struggling to pay their bills.
In reality, of course, there is no such special government fund and your payment will fail, leaving you subject to late fees and possible loss of services. And as a bonus, the identity thieves will have all the information they need to drain your bank account, access your credit cards and basically mess up your life.
Also See: Real Government Assistance Programs
Often, this scam comes in the form of an email message falsely claiming to be from the victim's utility company and will include a link to a bogus web site where victims are asked for their personal information.
What to Do? While some utility companies are taking measures to protect their customers from this scam, not all are. If you are contacted in any manner by anyone claiming to be from your utility company offering to have the government pay your bills and requesting any of your personal information, do not respond to it. Do not click on any links accompanying the message or respond in any manner. Instead, call your utility company immediately.
"But he that filches from me my good name / Robs me of that which not enriches him / And makes me poor indeed." - Shakespeare, Othello, act iii, Scene 3.