Have You Heard: Utility companies team against scammers; bogus deadly fake cigarette stories

Have You Heard: Utility companies team against scammers; bogus deadly fake cigarette stories


We all know cigarettes are bad for you, but if you see a post on Facebook claiming there are lethal phony cigarettes being sold, beware.

Have You Heard, utility companies have teamed up to warn you about utility scams? Check this out!

Think you pay too much for your water gas and electric already, think about this! Scammers steal billions of dollars a year from you pretending to be utilities collecting your bill, which you probably already paid. 

This week, Utilities United against Scams Day debuted forming a unified front against scammers.  

Remember, the scammer will warn you the customer's electric or another utility service will be disconnected if you fail to make an immediate payment, using a reloadable debit card or another non-traceable form of payment. Sometimes they will even try to make you make a payment at a strange location.

It's easy to get confused as scammers often employ authentic-seeming phone numbers, graphics, uniforms and other materials.

Safest bet, contact your utility company directly and find out what is really going on.  For more info, please click here.

Have you seen or heard about fake Newport cigarettes being sold and also being deadly? This post hit Facebook last week and WTOC viewer Kimberly Cisco asked me to figure out the situation because she thinks it's a hoax. 

Well, Kimberly, you would be correct! According to Snopes.com, although counterfeit cigarettes are a known problem - mostly outside the U.S. - they aren't known to be deadly and this news item about lethal fake smokes being shared is from a fake news site TMZBreaking, not be confused with the real gossip site TMZ.

All we can do is check the websites we share information from and stop sharing!

The Publisher's Clearing House scam is back – again - and a WTOC viewer received a phone call wishing it was the change in fortune she needed. No, it was just a rabbit hole. The real Publisher's Clearing House will simply show up at your door with a grand prize and not call you and try to get you to send money for your prize.

For more information, please click here.

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