Scheme Promises Money for Energy-Efficiency Upgrades

Mesquite says scheme is attempt to steal people's personal information

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The City of Mesquite is warning residents about a scheme involving energy improvement upgrades that's really a front for getting personal information like credit histories and financial information. (Published Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012)

    Mesquite is warning residents about a scheme that claims homeowners can qualify for stimulus money to make energy-efficiency upgrades.

    The city said the scheme is an attempt to steal people's personal information.

    Callers are offering to help people see if they qualify for $5,000 in stimulus funding for improvements to make their home more energy-efficient.

    Martha Gandee said the several phone calls she received last week didn't seem to ring true.

    "His next question was, 'How is your credit rating?' And I thought, 'Alarm, alarm, alarm," she said.

    Mesquite spokesman Wayne Larson said the city suspects the calls are a scam.

    "Businesses like this should never ask for your credit history or financial information," he said.

    The city said several people and churches called about the scheme.

    "There's no program out there which the city would ask for financial information like that," Larson said.

    Gandee said she tried to cancel her appointment after she realized it sounded like a scheme. But a representative still showed up at her house.

    "Too bad there are people who think that's how they must make their living, using others," she said.

    She said she won't dial back her suspicion when looking for a good deal in the future.

    "Anything that sounds too good to be true, probably is," she said.

    Last week, Arlington police warned about an identity-theft scheme that claims President Barack Obama has approved a credit for utility or water bills.

    Mesquite residents are encouraged to contact police records at 972-216-6246 to determine if a company has a current permit to solicit door-to-door in the city.