Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Scam Alert: Persons Impersonating Utility Company Employees

Electric Company Customers Being Scammed Says Attorney General
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi warns Florida’s utility customers about an increasingly prevalent scam involving individuals impersonating utility company employees in order to obtain credit card or prepaid debit card information. The imposters call customers and request credit card or prepaid debit card information, threatening to shut off power if the information is not provided by the customer. They then use this information to make fraudulent purchases. Some thieves are using caller ID spoofing, making it appear that the call originates from the customer’s utility company.

Customers can protect themselves from this scam by:

· Not providing credit card or prepaid debit card information over the phone in response to a phone call they receive;

· Knowing that utility companies never ask for or require a prepaid debit card for bill payments and never call a customer seeking personal information or credit card numbers. Additionally, in the field, utility company employees carry picture identification badges and never ask a customer for money;

· Hanging up the phone when such a request is made and then calling the utility company at a number that you know is accurate, or contacting the company through its website; and

· Reporting suspected scams to the appropriate utility company:

o Florida Power & Light Company customers should call 800-226-3545

o Duke Energy Florida, Inc. customers should call 800-700-8744

o Gulf Power Company customers should call 800-225-5797

o Tampa Electric Company customers should call in Hillsborough County 813-223-0800, in Polk County 863-299-0800, and other counties 888-223-0800.

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