Keep scammers in the cold as weather spikes utility bills

Cold weather is here and forecasts show utility prices are way up across the board. If you're thinking about saving some money by doing things like cleaning out your air ducts, fixing a leaky roof or installing solar panels, be careful of scammers.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Scammers are ready to jump in and take advantage of any situation, and that includes the change in the weather that’s now setting in.

Cold weather is here and forecasts show utility prices are way up across the board.

If you’re thinking about saving some money by doing things like cleaning out your air ducts, fixing a leaky roof or installing solar panels -- be careful of scammers.

Before you hire someone to do those jobs, the FTC says to first get recommendations from people you know and trust.

You should always ask for IDs, licenses and proof of insurance.

And never pay with a gift card or cash. Always use a credit card or check.

You should also be careful of anyone who calls you and threatens to cut off your utilities.

Utility companies do not demand banking information over the phone and won’t force you to pay by phone as your only option.

Double-check with your provider before giving away any information or money.

If you experience a scam like this or any others, you can report them to the FTC by going to reportfraud.ftc.gov.


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This Emmy Award-winning television, radio and newspaper journalist has anchored The Morning Show for 18 years.