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Milwaukee scam tells victims grants, loans will help them pay bills


MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - Remember a national banking scam this summer which promised folks that President Obama would pay their utility bills?

Well, a somewhat similar scheme has been reported lately in Milwaukee – where a firm called “My Bill Assist” promised up to $1,500 in grants and loans to help folks pay some of their other bills.

The catch was that each applicant had to pay a $20 sign-up fee and a $20 membership fee – and the check for the bills was promised later.

But many people said those checks never came, and the state’s Better Business Bureau said it has received almost 80 complaints about My Bill Assist and two other names for the business – Elite Training Service and Elite Billing Service.

Disabled retiree Sharon Austin of Milwaukee told the Journal Sentinel that she and others were excited to learn that the money was from Obama.

When her check never came, she later hunted the company down, and was told by a person from Florida that it was running low on funds. They said she’d have to wait until the end of the year to get her cash.

The Journal Sentinel said it tried calling the business – and it got an automated message that it’s only taking applications online due to what it called an “overwhelming response.”

Milwaukee Police say they’re investigating what they’re calling a scam. They and the state’s consumer organizations have asked those victimized to call them.