It's no secret that the Obama administration loves their handouts. So, it would only make sense that this administration would offer to pay off people's electric bills, right?

...maybe not.

There's a new identity theft scam running around that claims the Obama administration will pay your electric bills for a whole month. All you have to do is hand over your bank routing number and social security card.

The criminals have been marching across the country, making their way from state to state, persuading victims that a special federal government assistance program -- sometimes described as a bailout authorized by President Barack Obama's administration -- is available to pay their utility bills. Victims are given bank account and routing numbers to use when paying their bills online, but only after they "register" by surrendering their Social Security numbers and other personal information.

There is no such utility payment assistance program. But electricity users seem to be falling for the ruse everywhere, making it in one of the more successful scams in recent times. Last week, 2,000 people were tricked in Tampa the local utility company, TECO Energy Inc., told  There were more victims in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and across New England. Utility firms in Utah and California reported similar scam epidemics earlier this year. And at least 10,000 people fell for the scam in New Jersey in recent weeks, Public Service Electric & Gas told

The scam has been mostly perpetrated through E-mail, Facebook and other social media. But some scammers have also recruited people to go to their neighbor's doors and try to sell them on the scheme as well.

I suppose it just proves the old saying: "If it's too good to be true, it probably is." Or maybe "There's a sucker born every minute," would be more appropriate.