Joliet Residents Soaked on Water Bill Scam

Ruthless grifters have targeted Joliet residents with a water bill con, telling some a program instituted by President Obama will pay their way.

residents believing they were getting a helping hand from the federal government instead have fallen prey to identity thieves, police said.

"It's a nationwide thing," Detective Chris Schott of the scam that recently hit Joliet.

"People are under the assumption there's a federal program" to help them with their water bills, Schott explained. In exchange for a social security number, victims are given a bank account number to provide to their water supplier.

Some victims were told they were getting assistance through a new program instituted by President Obama, the detective said.

The city billing department was given this bank account number by numerous residents on Monday, Schott said. It turns out the bank account number doesn't exist.

Not only are the residents still on the hook for their water bill and whatever late fees they may have accrued, its likely their financial identities appropriated.

"There will be a high probability," Schott said.

Residents of Detroit also have been hit by this scam, according to the Detroit News:

"Victims have been contacted in person, through fliers, social media and text messages. The scammers tell consumers President Obama can provide credits or apply payments to their water bills in exchange for their social security number and bank routing number."

Many of the Jolietans bilked in the water bill con said they heard about the phony program through "word of mouth," Schott said.

In warning residents about the scam, Schott also advised it is not a good idea to give out your social security number.

Eric Rose July 12, 2012 at 07:14 AM
You need to attach a picture of what the story is about. A picture of the water department might do, or the house where the scam originated. It's not about Obama, it's about a water bill scam. If the users don't click through to read the story, they might assume that Obama and his 'ruthless grifters' maliciously scammed some Joliet residents. I am being a bit facetious here but I hope you understand my point.
Infamous Steve July 12, 2012 at 02:38 PM
I can't belive people are STILL this stupid! Then again that explains why we are in the horrible position we are in.
Lynn Davis-Livesay July 12, 2012 at 07:18 PM
This is not surprising, since citizens are struggling with paying all kinds of bills in this economy, especially their utilities. See http://www.electryanalm.com/energy.htm
Flora Dora July 14, 2012 at 01:26 AM
Our President gets the blame again!
xiaohui123 November 14, 2012 at 07:42 AM
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