TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Pam Bondi advises Floridians to be wary of utility bill scams. In recent utility scams, someone calls and claims to be a representative of a utility company and tells the customer that their utility bill is overdue and payment must be received or services will be shut off immediately. Scammers use devices that alter the caller ID to look like a utility customer service number. Payments are requested in uncommon ways, such as wiring the money, prepaid cards or gift cards. The latest targets of this scam include restaurants and other businesses that can’t afford to have their utility services abruptly shut off; however individual consumers are just as likely to be targeted.
Consumers can protect themselves from utility scams by following these tips:
- Never provide personal information over the phone or through email;
· If contacted by a suspicious person claiming to be the customer’s utility company, the customer should contact his or her utility company and notify them of the recent communications and check the billing status of their current account; and
· Report any suspicious activity to Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Fraud Hotline by calling 1-866-966-7226 or by visiting MyFloridaLegal.com.
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