We have reported on more than 200 different phone scams over the last few years. They are far to common. There is still another new racket making its way across Texas and this one involves utility bills. Innocent victims are recently receiving calls regarding a past due amount on their utility bill. The caller identifies themselves as an employee of a utility company and advises that they are behind on their bill and are facing disconnection of service. The caller then lets the person know they can take steps to prevent their service from being disconnected. The caller ask for information about the subject, and it all seems harmless until they ask for payment information. The thief says they will only accept credit or debit cards. Experts tell us scams like this are not new, but in this era of confusion with all that is happening about us, some victims become rattled and even believe the crooks and then the victim is even providing the information requested and thus becoming victims of theft, and in some cases even identity theft. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recommends that you never give information to anyone calling from an alleged utility company. The FTC recommends hanging up and then calling that utility directly with the phone number provided on your bill. This way you are assured of reaching your real utility provider. It is an unfortunate sign of the times that scammers are preying on folks in order to turn a quick buck. Again, should you receive a call from someone identifying themselves as being from your utility company, the best course of action is to hang up and then call the utility’s phone number on your utility bill. Do not talk to the caller – one tip is most often they are recording you and will edit your voice to make it sound as if you are agreeing to pay. Just hang up and call your utility company.