Utility scams are on the rise and Florida’s utility customers are the main targets. A recent scam involves individuals who impersonate utility company employees in order to obtain credit card or prepaid debit card information. The scammers call customers asking for credit card or prepaid debit card information, threatening to shut off the utility service if the information is not given. The scammers then use this information to make fraudulent purchases. Some of the scams even involve using caller ID spoofing, making it appear that the call originates from a utility company.
Protect yourself from this scam by:
- Not giving credit card or prepaid debit card information over the phone
- Know that utility companies never ask for or require a prepaid debit card for bill payments and never call a customer asking personal information or credit card numbers.
- In the field, utility company employees carry picture identification badges and never ask a customer for money.
- Hang up the phone when such a request is made and then call the utility company at a number you are familiar with or through its website.
Make sure to report possible scams to the appropriate utility company or police:
Duke Energy Florida: 1-800-700-8744
Clearwater utility customers: 727-562-4600
Clearwater Police Fraud Hotline: 727-562-4424
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