IdeastreamPublicMedia.org, By Abbey Marshall, Posted October 2nd 2023
Don’t delete those emails or trash those mailers claiming you can receive money from a FirstEnergy settlement.
It may seem like a scam, but it’s not, says Cleveland Better Business Bureau Director of Operations Ericka Dilworth.
The money comes from a $49 million settlement surrounding the House Bill 6 bribery scheme between the Akron-based energy company and political leaders like former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder. Customers will share that $49 million in payouts, ranging between roughly $7 to $15 for residential customers and up to $250 for larger commercial customers.
Some customers have or will receive a mailer with instructions on how to claim their funds, while others may receive an email. Some will also receive a debit card directly in the mail.
The card may be used like a gift certificate on an online payment portal or for in-person purchases.
According to the website set up to explain how the settlement will be disbursed, “Tremendous” is the name of the digital payment provider for the settlement and is how the payment is being delivered.
“If you receive an email from [email protected] or [email protected], it is not SPAM, according to the site. Prepaid credit cards arrive in the mail and direct users to MyPrepaidCenter.com to activate the card and determine the balance, the Better Business Bureau confirmed.
Dilworth said her office has received many calls over the last few weeks to determine if the emails or mailers were a scam. She said that’s a good instinct, because sometimes similar tactics may be used to get personal information from unsuspecting recipients.
“We tell people all the time, if you receive money you weren’t expecting, you should question it,” Dilworth said. “Sometimes it’s a phishing scam and someone is trying to get your personal information.”
Sometimes, she said, scammers will use names of established businesses and companies like FirstEnergy to try to legitimize their scheme.
Dilworth said the best course of action is to “do your homework,” whether that’s contacting the Better Business Bureau or researching the company the person who reached out claimed to be from and contacting them.
Do not, she said, contact the person who reached out to you asking for personal information or offering money.
Find more information by visiting https://www.ohioelectricitylitigation.com/.