NEWS RELEASE   7/13/2012

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CITY OF FLINT WARNS RESIDENTS OF NEW SCAM PROMISING FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO PAY UTILITIES BILLS
Flint, Michigan — July 13, 2012— The City of Flint is warning residents of a new scam that promises the Federal Government will pay their utility bills. Perpetrators of the scam have been active in a dozen or so states and have contacted potential victims via telephone, email and even door-to-door. The scam is related to identity theft.

According to published reports, the scam involves telling victims they will be given a special account with routing number that they are to use when paying their utility bills. The money is supposedly from a grant of $1 ,000 or more given to provide relief on the part of the victim. As part of the “application process” to activate the account, they are asked to divulge personal information, including their social security number.

City of Flint treasurer Doug Bingaman has already seen instances of a number of
residents trying to use the false account to try and pay their utility bills. The account number being used is the same one for every victim. The Flint Police Department wants residents to be alert and cautious of anyone asking for personal information, no matter the reason given.

Chief Alvern Lock warned “the government will never ask for your personal information over the phone, people should always be skeptical of anyone who does so.” Residents who believe they may have been a victim of this or any other scam should report it on the City of Flint’s website through Flint’s Online Citizens Police Reporting system at http //www.cityofflint.com/COPLOGIC/start-report.html or by calling 810-257-6900.

The Online Citizens Police Reporting system page has under its identity theft link phone numbers to groups that can be of help to anyone who feels they may have been the victim of identity theft.

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