The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) today received an overview on the many scams targeting utility customers and efforts to combat them from Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) and Duke Energy Florida, LLC (DEF).
“Scams happen everyday and often prey on vulnerable populations,” said PSC Chairman Andrew Fay. “We must continue to arm customers with the tools and information they need to avoid becoming victims of these scams, along with additional resources to fight back.”
FPL Customer Advocacy Manager, Melissa Booher, shared that scam targets are expanding to include business customers. She said FPL continuously communicates with customers to maintain scam awareness and encourage caution. If a customer becomes a victim, it’s important to report it to the local police department and to FPL, who then works with law enforcement in support of customers.
Brandon Green, DEF Director of Consumer Advocacy, said that customers report about 10,000 scams a month. As a founding member of Utilities United Against Scams, DEF runs an annual scam awareness month campaign each November with UUAS. DEF has also initiated a new scam reporting tool that helps customers protect others in their community by identifying the scammer’s tactics and location to help stop them.
Common scam tactics to recognize and avoid, include:
- Email or text asking for utility account number or Social Security number.
- Call pretending to be utility employee demanding immediate payment.
- Visit by utility employee impersonator offering a free energy audit to gain access to a residence.
- Use of a false web domain to send an invoice or get goods or services.
Both companies said that a utility will never call, text or email demanding payment by pre-paid card, wire transfer or banking app. Utility representatives will not request personal information over the phone, unless initiated by the customer. Utilities do not conduct door-to-door sales and will never show up unannounced to perform an energy audit.
FPL customers can report a scam at www.FPL.com/protect. DEF customers can report a scam at www.duke-energy.com/customer-service/report-fraud-and-scams. Customers can also contact the Attorney General’s office at www.MyFloridaLegal.com and/or contact their local police authority.
For additional information, visit www.floridapsc.com.
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