dripping water Tap
Sean Cate
Sean Cate
May 18, 2024 ·  4 min read

High Utility Bill? 7 Signs To Avoid Being Scammed (Internet, Electricity and More)

As high utility bills become commonplace, scams and theft become more rampant as well. From siphoning electricity to gaining unauthorized WIFI access, opportunistic thieves will try to exploit any vulnerabilities they can find for personal gain. Let’s go over the key signs of utility scams to give you with practical tips to protect your finances and services.

1. Bill Spikes

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An unexpectedly high utility bill is one of the most obvious signs of potential theft. According to experts, this spike might be from unauthorized usage or someone tapping into your electricity supply. This is particularly common in electricity theft, where criminals will steal power from an exterior outlet or even hack into WIFI connections.1 If you notice a sudden increase in your bill without any change in your usage, it should raise red flags.

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2. Electricity Theft

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Finding and proving electricity theft requires a keen eye for anything happening around your property. Be sure to check all of your exterior outlets for any suspicious activity or plugs being used. You should also be on the lookout for clamps or strange wiring, as these may indicate that someone has been tampering with your electrical connections. Install a locking outlet cover on each of your exterior plugs, and keep a look out for anything out of the ordinary to help prevent or detect any electricity theft. If you suspect foul play, contact your utility provider.

3. Water Bill Anomalies

Money save coins fall out of the golden tap
Source: Shutterstock

Your water bill can also be a hotspot for theft or misuse. Unexplained increases in water consumption, just like your strangely high utility bill, should prompt some further investigation. Additionally, be mindful of lower water pressure or any tampering with your outdoor sprinkler systems, as it may be indicative of unauthorized water usage. Unlike your electricity,  water theft is a bit easier to find due to visible signs of interference outside. If it’s wet where it shouldn’t be, it’s a pretty good indication. 

4. Internet Intrusions

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Internet theft is a bit trickier to spot compared to other utilities. Unlike high utility bills for water or electricity, internet usage might not be an easy or immediate find in your bill. Instead, you should be mindful of any slowdowns in your internet speeds or if any unfamiliar devices are connected to your network (you should be able to check what’s connected through your provider). In these cases, managing your router settings and updating your WIFI password are relatively straightforward ways to make accessing your internet without permission a much more difficult process.

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5. Streaming Shenanigans

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Streaming services are everywhere now, so theft of subscription accounts has become a growing concern. If someone is able to gain access to your WIFI network, there’s a pretty good chance they’re in your Netflix account, too. Unknown profiles on your streaming accounts (including the fabled “settings” profile”) or unexpected changes to your bill should be a clear indication someone is there who shouldn’t be. If you suspect anything, log out of all devices, changing your password, delete any suspicious profiles, and then get back to your regularly scheduled program.

6. Device Security

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Be mindful to keep track of the devices connected to your network to help detect potential intrusions. Every so often you should audit your connected devices and remove any you don’t recognize. This more proactive approach can help prevent easy access to your network and ensure better security for you.

7. Taking Action

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The key to all of this is, like most things, staying vigilant. Safeguarding your (hopefully not too) high utility bills against theft and potential scams is about staying on top of the problems. If you aren’t aware fo the issues, then you’ll never be able to address them. Regularly monitoring your bills, inspect your property for signs of tampering, and manage your network devices to ensure nothing is left to chance. Don’t hesitate to contact your utility provider if you suspect foul play. Being proactive will better protect yourself from becoming a victim and ensure the integrity of your services.


Expensive bills. Stressed latin man looking at the high electricity bill because of the air conditioning
Source: Shutterstock

With high utility bills and increasing digital connectivity, protecting yourself from utility theft and scams is paramount. But with vigilance, education, and proactivity, you can be sure your finances and utilities are safe. Remember, staying informed and taking action are your best defenses, an unaware person is an easy victim.

H/t: Daily Mail

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