Fraud Victim At Risk of Water Shutoff
Scams continue to proliferate right and left, and scammers target individuals who are more likely to trust others. Unfortunately, we have had several clients who have been victims of a variety of financial scams.
Just recently, we had a single mom come to us who had fallen victim to a check-cashing scam. She had received an attractive check in the mail, and she thought that it was the answer to her prayers. It helped take care of several bills for her children and covered much-needed infant formula. Unfortunately, she was informed by her bank that the check had been fraudulent, but she had already spent the money. Paying it back meant a pretty hefty wage garnishment.
Did you know that the law allows up to 25% of an individual’s wages to be garnished for debt payment? When you start to calculate what might be left for someone who is already making less than 50% of the Area Median Income and struggling with housing costs, child care, transportation and food, a 25% wage garnishment of disposable income is pretty steep.
Well, our client wanted to make it right. So she started looking for a second job to make up for the garnishment. And she did. She is now working a second job at a nearby grocery store to pay it back. But between the time the wage garnishment began and the time she started the second job, she had fallen behind on her water bill. She reached out to Good Shepherd Housing, and our Emergency Assistance Coordinator, Jessica Seckman, was able to pay the utility, bringing her bill to current status.
Identity theft and other financial fraud happens every day. We’re just pleased to help give this story a happy ending.