Merissa lives on a fixed income. She is normally able to scrape by every month with her Social Security Benefits, but last month she became a victim of identity theft. Starting last month, Merissa had unauthorized debits made to her bank account. The first time it happened, the total amount of fraudulent charges was $141.94. She filed a claim with her bank for that amount, but before the claim was approved, it happened again. She has now been credited for the amount of $141.94, but has had more unauthorized debits totaling $53.82. She has filed another claim with the bank and is awaiting approval.
Merissa had her debit card replaced to prevent this from happening in the future, and the bank is investigating the situation to see if they can find out who hacked into her account so Merissa can press charges. With these unauthorized debits causing her bank account to go into the negative both times within two weeks of each other, she has been unable to cover the expense of her electric bill this month. Duke Energy was able to put her on a payment arrangement to give her some time to apply for assistance with us.
Greer Relief was able to help her cover the amount of her payment arrangement with Duke Energy to get her past due caught up and prevent disconnection of her electric services. Merissa was also referred to our RENEW Money Matters class to help her get to a place where she can start putting a little money into savings each month so she will have a little bit of cushion the next time something unexpected like this comes up.