Author Topic: // , Is there a way to pay my utility bills anonymously?  (Read 2460 times)

dismalscience

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  // , Let's just say, **hypothetically** that I had very good reason to have my name associated with my physical address on as few documents as possible.

I rent a duplex for about $2000/month, and have just moved in.

Is there a way to pay utility bills with cash, Bitcoin, or anonymous PayPal?

Could I just buy one of those $200 prepaid VISA debit cards, and use that to pay?

I imagine that the issues are mostly logistics, as the companies do not care who pays a bill as long as it's paid, right?

Edit: Add that I rent, and for how much.

1. Might not actually be hypothetical, sophisticated adversary, etc.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2017, 10:45:28 PM by dismalscience »

Mrs. PoP

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Re: // , Is there a way to pay my utility bills anonymously?
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2017, 03:12:52 AM »
Form a land trust or an LLC and transfer ownership of the property to the entity.   The entity will need its own bank accounts, etc but at that point basically everything is papered through the entity and it can be difficult to uncover the final beneficiary/beneficial owners of the land trust/LLC depending how many layers you get in there. Not impossible usually, but difficult.  These entities would likely all have their own tax returns, though, so there would be ongoing costs and efforts associated with this kind of setup. 

SnackDog

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Re: // , Is there a way to pay my utility bills anonymously?
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2017, 03:52:21 AM »
Western Union will let you pay utility and other bills. You can just provide them the cash and they will do it.  This is to keep the utility from knowing where the landlord lives?  To do that, just get a PO box and use it as the mailing address for the bills. Then get paperless billing. Then change the PO box to a fake one. Now they have no way to physically locate you. If course, they still know the address of the place they are providing you the utility service. That is harder to hide from them.

alsoknownasDean

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Re: // , Is there a way to pay my utility bills anonymously?
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2017, 04:40:19 AM »
Wouldn't they take your details down when setting up the utility accounts in the first place, including a credit check?

It might be possible to pay a bill anonymously, but it may not be possible to set up an account with a utility anonymously. The utility want to know that you can pay up :)

LordSquidworth

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Re: // , Is there a way to pay my utility bills anonymously?
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2017, 02:11:28 PM »
Nobody really cares about the pot you're growing in your basement.

Utility companies love the extra money.

ixtap

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Re: // , Is there a way to pay my utility bills anonymously?
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2017, 02:13:37 PM »
Wouldn't they take your details down when setting up the utility accounts in the first place, including a credit check?

It might be possible to pay a bill anonymously, but it may not be possible to set up an account with a utility anonymously. The utility want to know that you can pay up :)

This. I could pay anyone's bill with cash. What I cannot do is get the utility company to flip the switch without a name and often even a credit history.

bobechs

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Re: // , Is there a way to pay my utility bills anonymously?
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2017, 02:18:38 PM »
Sure, just go down to each utility's main office once a month and pay the bill with coin of the realm.

The amount of anonymity you purchase by the ongoing exercise:  approximately zero.

Especially if your sophisticated adversary is clever enough to, for example, look up who is being billed for taxes on your place-- regardless of who actually pays them, or how.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2017, 02:24:40 PM by bobechs »

cchrissyy

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Re: // , Is there a way to pay my utility bills anonymously?
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2017, 07:31:07 PM »
do you rent? 
I am a landlord who once had a tenant tell me they didn't want their address known, and so what we did was kept all utilities in my name and every month they would send me the reimbursement money in addition to the normal rent check.

(it was a celebrity. I could also imagine somebody fleeing domestic abuse would avoid bills and mail with their new address)
« Last Edit: July 22, 2017, 07:34:06 PM by cchrissyy »

dismalscience

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Re: // , Is there a way to pay my utility bills anonymously?
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2017, 10:43:43 PM »
  // , @Mrs. PoP, @cchrisy and @SnackDog, thanks for offering opinions in stead of trite sarcasm.

@Mrs. PoP, what you propose would likely be the best option if I owned land, and I will keep it in mind. I ought to have mentioned that I rent.

@SnackDog, I hereby offer you a virtual snack . I'll research the Western Union option and see whether others have done this.

@cchrisy, I do indeed rent, and I may approach the landlord about the option you proposed.

Edit: Correct grammar.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2017, 10:51:19 PM by dismalscience »

NoNonsenseLandlord

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Re: // , Is there a way to pay my utility bills anonymously?
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2017, 12:56:20 AM »
You can put the utilities in a company name.  Open up a checking account in a business name, and set the utilities up in that name.  You likely need a deposit.  You will be able to be tracked, unless you pay in cash.

To pay utilities, you need the utility company account number.