Monday, July 18, 2011

Recent Local Scam Involves Utility Assistance

MIFA officials recently learned of a scam involving a woman claiming to be a MIFA employee. Recently, she falsely told an MLGW customer in the Raleigh area that she was eligible for utility assistance.

The perpetrator deceptively informed the customer that for a $100 cash fee the resident’s total MLGW bill of nearly $500 would be paid in full though a utility assistance plan.

It is important customers understand that while MIFA does operate a public utility assistance program using MLGW Plus-1 contributed funds, MIFA does not have staff in neighborhoods offering such assistance. Individuals seeking assistance with utility payments must apply in-person at MIFA’s midtown headquarters at 910 Vance Avenue. Once applicants meet eligibility requirements, payments are made directly to MLGW and there are no applicant fees.

“It’s unfortunate that we must issue such an alert, especially when it involves individuals in need,” said Sally Jones Heinz, MIFA Executive Director. “It is regrettable that someone is using MIFA’s reputation for helping others in such an unlawful manner.”

“This type of scheme takes advantage of those who need help the most," said Jerry Collins, MLGW President and CEO. "MLGW is committed to protecting these customers. One way we can do this is by finding those responsible for this scam and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law."

If customers are offered utility assistance by anyone claiming to be a MIFA representative, they should contact Memphis police department at 901-545-2677.

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