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Pay your bills, not impersonators

If you’re paying a medical, utility, or other bill online, you probably expect to wind up on the that company’s website. What might you not expect? An impersonator tricking you into paying them instead. But that’s what the FTC says a company called Doxo did. Here’s what you need to know.


According to the FTC, Doxo pretended to be an official payment site for big-name companies like AT&T, Spectrum, and Labcorp. The FTC says Doxo used online ads that looked like they were from the companies, and even used company names as keywords so Doxo’s ads would show up in search results.


If the bills got paid, what’s the problem? There’s lots of them, says the FTC. People who paid their bills through Doxo often paid fees to Doxo on top of what they owed on the bill they were trying to pay. And, in some cases, the payment never got to the company that issued the bill. People only found out when they got a warning letter from a bill collector or had their utility service shut off. Some people wound up paying late fees to the actual company that billed them — or paid their bill a second time, just to avoid other problems.


If you’re looking to pay your bill online, know that search results might not get you to the right place. Instead, check your bill to find the online payment site. And, if possible, use a credit card. Credit cards offer the most protection against fraud, including the right to dispute charges if there are any problems.


Learn more about impersonator scams at ftc.gov/impersonators. If you spot an impersonator scam, tell the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov



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