A multistate identity theft scam that claims President Barack Obama will pay your utility bills appears to have widened.
According to MSNBC.com, more than 2,000 customers in Tampa, Fla., fell for the fake offer last week.
The scheme was first reported in May, when Dallas-based Atmos Energy warned its 3 million customers in 12 states that scammers had been asking for Social Security numbers to enroll in the faux federal program. According to the pitch—distributed via email, Facebook, text message, phone and, in some cases, door-to-door sales—the government would pay a month of energy costs through credits offered by the Obama administration.
PSE&G, the New Jersey gas and electric delivery utility, issued a similar warning the same month. According to MSNBC, there were 10,000 reported victims in New Jersey in recent weeks, and thousands more in North Carolina, Indiana and Pennsylvania.
The election will hinge on how many millions fall for a larger version of this scam. The idea that politicians will pay your bills for you — stealing your liberty, if not your identity, in the process — is the scam that drives politics.
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