Government Assistance Abounds, But Not For Your Water Bill

About two dozen Warren residents scammed into thinking a federal program exists to help pay water bills

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In Michigan, welfare recipients can get money for car repairs, to buy a car or even to get clothes for job interviews.

According to the U.S. Government's official benefits website,, there are more than 1,000 federally funded benefit and assistance programs.

But you can’t get money for paying your water bill, as some people in the city of Warren found out.

The city of Warren reported about two dozen people fell for a scam that said President Obama had allocated money to pay water bills. According to the Warren City Clerk’s office, some residents provided personal information to a fake service that promised money to pay water bills. Only no such program exists.

"That is where we are at right now," said Jason Gillman, a Traverse City tea party activist and Grand Traverse County Commissioner. "Some of the extreme policies have made us believe that anything is possible. There are free phones. It wouldn't surprise us at all if utilities are being paid. How can anyone know what the truth is anymore? That is our new reality."


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Ted Nelson is a retired Michigan State Police officer who trained police departments throughout the state on civil asset forfeiture. He believes the practice has been misused and needs to change.

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