On Your Side Alert: BBB: Beware of Power Bill Savings Energy Con

On Your Side Alert: BBB: Beware of Power Bill Savings Energy Con

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - There's a good chance your air conditioning has been hard at work the last week or so, and the experts say scammers are already hoping that means you're stressing those energy bills.

It's why the BBB is warning you to watch out for scammers, who may be trying to use that worry to take your money.

"Scammers are out all the time," said Tom Gallagher with the BBB.

The Better Business Bureau calls it an "energy con." You get a call from someone claiming to represent a local energy company or government agency. This "representative" says that they are part of a program to help homeowners lower their energy bills. The details vary; this "program" may involve registering for tax credits, enrolling in an alternative energy program, or signing up with a competitive energy supplier.

Then, the con artist will want you to enroll, asking you to share your Social Security or insurance number, or you might have to pay upfront for savings you're never going to see.

"The constant is that they want to get into your credit card," said Gallagher. "They want to get into your money. Don't do it. Just simply don't do it."

We want to be clear: there are reliable programs out there through legitimate energy companies, but they'll already have your personal information and a program you can read about at your leisure.

They won't need you to share it in a rush over the phone.

"Speed, secrecy, and selectivity," said Gallagher. "These are the three things you have to look for, and you have a scam."

The BBB says you can always check to make sure a call is legit by hanging up, looking up the company's number on a website and calling them, or you can call the BBB to make sure the deal is real.

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