Washington, DC

“Dear PoPville,

Got my Washington Gas utility bill last week. But instead of my name, it was addressed to a different entity.

My initial thought was, identity fraud? Is someone (or some entity) trying to use my address as a means to legitimatize a (fraudulent) identity?

But with all the COVID relief available, my second thought turned to something potentially more sinister = a Soprano-esque “get relief money for the inability to pay utility bills” type of scam. I’m not a very good criminal so the hows of the scam don’t occur to me, but I am curious about the black hole a utility bill creates in an accounting department. And if those holes could be filled with relief monies, somehow?

The account number on the bill is the proper number, so I shrugged it off and figured it a casual mistake.

Nonetheless, I emailed Wash Gas and didn’t get a reply. Called Wash Gas and got a very typical customer-servicey response, “don’t worry about it”, “there was a glitch in the system, some other people have mentioned the same thing, you’ll get a real bill in the next few days”, and a curious “what was the name the bill was addressed to?” I didn’t provide the erroneous name to Wash Gas, as I don’t consider that relevant, and don’t see how it would be. But the name on the erroneous bill was the singular question the customer service rep asked me, and they asked me twice.

Overthinking this? Paranoid?? Have other members of the community received utility bills with some weirdo name on it? “

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