No, it isn’t. Putting your power bill in the name of another person is nearly always unlawful.
Is it possible for someone to steal your identity by looking at your electricity bill?
en espaol | en espaol | en espaol | The days are shortening, the nights are becoming colder, and you swear you paid your last gas and electric bill. However, the power company’s caller insists that you’re past due and that if you don’t pay up now, the electricity will be turned off. In the thick of winter, the last thing you want is that (or the long, hot summer, as the case may be). It’s best not to take any chances.
That’s what con artists want you to believe, and many people do, making utility impostor schemes the most popular sort of fraud reported to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Impersonators call homes and small businesses, seeking payment for allegedly unpaid invoices and threatening to disconnect service if payment is not made. They plan their attacks to be as urgent as possible, ramping up activity during peak heating or air cooling season and targeting establishments during peak hours (like the lunch or dinner rush at a restaurant).
A phony utility worker may also demand payment in advance to replace or repair a meter or other device, or may ask for personal information in the hopes of enrolling you in a government-sponsored energy-saving program. Utility cons come in a variety of shapes and sizes:
- Instead of stating you owe money, scam callers may claim you overpaid and seek for your bank account or credit card information in order to process a “refund.”
- Scammers posing as utility employees visit your home to examine or repair equipment, investigate a rumored gas leak, or do a free “energy audit.” They may try to charge you for the false service, offer you useless products, obtain personal information for identity theft, or just gain access to your home to take belongings.
- Utility impostors use phishing emails or “smishing” SMS messages to persuade you to make a payment or provide personal or financial information in order to resolve a service issue.
- Stolen personal information is used by identity thieves to open utility accounts and run up charges in the victim’s name. More than 31,000 reports of utility-related identity theft were reported by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in 2019.
Is Netflix comparable to an energy bill?
Electricity, gas, water/sewage, and waste disposal are all examples of utility costs. Other services, such as internet, cable TV, and phone service, are sometimes considered extra utilities, despite the fact that they are now regarded standard in most American homes.
How can I alter the name on my electricity bill in the United Kingdom?
Correcting the name on your account is a reasonably simple process if you only need to update the name or title on your utility invoices, but the payment information remain the same. The simplest approach to do this is through your supplier’s website’s customer interface. Although different websites have slightly different user interfaces, the following steps should be followed:
- Re-access your account and repeat the second and third steps to ensure your name has been altered.
How do I change my bank account details?
Alternatively, you might keep the name at the top of your statement the same but alter the account from which the bill is paid. You may want to modify your utility accounts so that your bank information are used for payment if your spouse is wounded, unwell, or unable to work. The bill’s name, however, stays the same.
If you don’t want to change your name on your utility bills online, you can call your supplier and request that they correct your information for you. If you have an online-only energy tariff, however, you may not be able to do so.
Getting consent for changes on the account
Your energy provider may ask the current account holder, the new account holder / payer, or both for permission. They may make this request orally (in which case you can simply give consent over the phone). If the supplier asks a letter of authority, you can either send it in the mail or scan it and send it electronically.
Can you have 2 names on a utility bill?
If you’ve just moved in with a partner, married, or taken on a new housemate, you should update your utility bills and account to include their name. Although you may not be able to accomplish this online, it is quite simple to do. In most circumstances, calling, writing, or emailing your energy provider to add a new name to your utility account is the only option to do so. You should be able to resolve this with the help of a customer support professional.
It’s worth noting, though, that when a new name is added to your utility bill, that individual now shares responsibility for the payments, as well as the potential consequences if they aren’t paid on time. They also have an effect on both partners’ credit scores.
Is it possible to have joint electric bills?
When two parties, such as roommates or business partners, share responsibility for the account, or when a legal representative, such as a lawyer or carer, takes over the responsibility, people place two names on a utility bill. In addition to paying the bill, the second person becomes the point of contact in the event of an emergency and has the authority to make changes to the account, including terminating it. Putting two names on a utility account is not difficult once both parties agree to share responsibility. Typically, both parties must inform the utility company over the phone or in person.
How can I see if I have any bills in my name?
Look over your credit reports. Obtaining your credit reports from the three major credit agencies, Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax, should be your first step in identifying what obligations you owe. Creditors typically report debt accounts to one or more credit bureaus, which then include the information in their credit reports.
What are the different sorts of identity theft?
Whether it’s a stolen credit card or Social Security number, or a wholly stolen identity, identity theft has likely affected you or someone you know.
According to Javelin Research, 14.4 million people in the United States were victims of identity fraud in 2018.
So, what are some of the most common forms of identity theft and fraud? And, more importantly, how can you better protect yourself from becoming a victim? Here are some common categories defined, as well as some possible countermeasures:
Financial identity theft is a serious problem.
When someone utilizes another person’s information for financial benefit, this is the most common type of identity theft. A fraudster could, for example, steal money or make transactions using your bank account or credit card details, or use your Social Security number to obtain a new credit card.
What you can do is keep track of your bills, accounts, and statements. Some fraudsters may begin by making tiny credit or debit charges in the hopes that you will not detect them, so carefully monitor your statements. Contact your bank or credit card company if you see a charge you don’t recognize.
You may not receive a bill or statement for new accounts opened in your name. A security freeze or a one-year initial fraud alert on your credit reports could help you avoid opening new accounts. To discover how to place a security freeze on your Equifax credit report, go to our security freeze page.
What can your energy account number be used for?
In this scam, you receive a call claiming that you overpaid on your power bill and that the utility provider is phoning to rectify the situation. To get a cash return, all you have to do is press a button.
How the Scam Works
If you press the button as instructed, you’ll be connected to a person who will ask for your bank account information or credit card number. This is ostensibly so that the utility may deposit your refund directly into your account. However, once scammers obtain your account number, they will begin withdrawing funds from your account rather than depositing them. Scammers may also request personal information, such as an SSN, which they can use to commit identity theft.
In a different variation of this scam, the con artists promise you a discount on future bills rather than a cash refund right away. Instead, they typically try to move you to a different power or gas provider. You could end yourself paying more for gas or electricity than you currently do, or worse, paying bills to two distinct companies.
How to Tell It’s a Scam
If you truly overpaid your power payment, the utility provider is unlikely to issue you a cash refund. Instead, it would most likely record the overpayment as a credit on your account and take it from your next bill automatically. And it would not necessitate any action on your side.
What to Do
If you receive such a call, simply hang up. If you hit a number when the call advises you to, you may be allowing yourself to be subjected to additional unwanted robocalls in the future. Instead, hang up and report the scam to your legitimate power company. You can also use this occasion to inquire as to whether or not you overpaid your bill but don’t be surprised if the answer is no.
Is a cell phone bill considered a utility bill?
Is a telephone bill considered a utility bill? Phone bills are commonly classified as utility bills. However, this only applies to landlines, not mobile phones. Telephone companies’ invoices are utility bills, and they, like energy suppliers, provide a service to the general public.