Consumer Alerts and Phishing Scams

I’ve received two alerts lately that I thought should be passed on to everyone.
The first one deals with the “foreign lottery” scam. In this scam, you receive a letter, email or phone call saying that you just won a lottery. Great, right? Not so fast… First of all, as the PA lottery says, “You’ve gotta play to win.” So if you didn’t play, how did they get your name? Simple – phone book, email lists, businesses selling their contacts, etc. The real “red flag” is that they want you to send some money (usually by wire transfer or check) in order for them to process your winnings.


Once they have your account number, they wipe out your checking, savings, retirement, etc. – anything and everything they can find. And you’re left with NOTHING. Many times these criminals prey on the elderly and disabled – but they’ll take anyone if you let them. So please tell your friends and family about this so they are not TAKEN FOR EVERYTHING THEY OWN.
An email I received from PPL warned about telemarketers and door-to-door salespeople claiming to be their employees.

  • PPL does not use telemarketing or door-to-door sales.
  • They will only contact you if there’s a problem with your account or service, which are usually set up by you making an appointment with them – not the other way around.
  • All employees and contractors must carry identification and you have the absolute right to ask for it. If they don’t or won’t show it, don’t let them in. And be sure it is a PPL ID. Don’t let them “flash” an ID and then put it quickly back into their pocket or purse (yes, there are female impersonators, too).
  • If you are not sure the person is from PPL, just call them (1-800-DIAL-PPL) (1-800-342-5775). If PPL doesn’t know them, call the police (they’ll really know what to do with these jokers).

Other suppliers can be licensed by the state and may be operating legitimately since we have the right to choose our electricity supplier. These salespeople must comply with federal, state and municipal laws and regulations. Just be careful about them, too. They will try their best to get you to switch to their supplier. But then, that’s their job.
I posted the email on the bell tower bulletin board if you want to read the whole thing. It’s not that long. If you want a copy, just let me know. I’ll make a copy for whoever wants one, that’s for sure.

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