Whether or not you’re behind on your utility bills, don’t square up with the person who knocks on your door without knowing first if they're legitimate.
The Better Business Bureau is warning that thieves have been going door-to-door in and around Brooklyn Park recently demanding that residents pay their past-due utility bills on the spot using reloadable debit cards, such as Green Dot MoneyPak cards available at many retailers.
“This is a particularly bold scam,” said Dana Badgerow, president and CEO of the BBB of Minnesota and North Dakota. The scam, also run by phone, has shown up in other parts of the country.
Utility companies usually send payment requests through the mail, but in rare instances, when other collection methods have failed, a utility company representative may show up in person. "Even then, they will have proper identification and welcome you to call the utility company to verify their identity," according to BBB spokesman Dan Hendrickson.
Be leery if a person at your door demands payment by debit card. Once criminals have your debit card information, they can drain the card of funds, the BBB said.
More from Star Tribune
More from Whistleblower
The Whistleblower column and blog are shutting down, but our commitment remains to investigating tips from readers.
A Baltimore couple and their company were ordered to pay back $616,000 to Spanish-speaking immigrants for immigration services that they were neither qualified nor authorized to provide, the Federal Trade Commission announced last week.
A company that labeled millions of Facebook users as a "jerk" or "not a jerk" is facing federal scrutiny after the agency said it improperly obtained information to create user profiles.
CenterPoint agreed last week to pay at least $192,500 to settle a lawsuit filed by the City of Minneapolis and various insurance companies after a gas explosion near a south Minneapolis Cub Foods in 2011.
A company accused of "mortgage scams" spent at least $2 million for a direct-mail campaign aimed at Minnesota veterans, according to the Minnesota Department of Commerce.