Don’t get scammed: Tampa Electric warns customers to be vigilant
Scammers continue to target customers with threats of disconnection
TAMPA, September 7, 2016
A scammer demanding a prepaid debit card continues to call Tampa Electric customers under the guise of avoiding disconnection. Between 10 and 15 customers are hearing from the scammer every day.
Because this scam continues to affect Tampa Electric customers after five years, Tampa Electric would like to remind customers to be wary of anyone demanding payment over the phone for their power bill.
The basic premise of the scam is:
- Someone falsely claiming to be a Tampa Electric representative calls a customer from a phone number that appears to be from the utility.
- The caller claims the account is past due and instructs the customer to buy a prepaid debit card from a local drug store – usually within 30 to 60 minutes – and demands they call back with the card’s number to avoid disconnection.
- When the customer calls back, the phone number is falsely answered as Tampa Electric, which adds to the scammer’s credibility.
- In many cases, the scammer ensnared customers, some for about $1,500.
Tampa Electric never calls to ask for credit card or debit card numbers. If you are uncertain about an individual's association with Tampa Electric – or about your bill – please contact the company for verification:
- In Hillsborough County, call 813-223-0800
- In Polk County, call 863-299-0800
- In all other areas, call 1-888-223-0800
All Tampa Electric team members and contractors working for Tampa Electric are required to carry photo identification cards. If someone claiming to be a Tampa Electric representative visits your home or business, request to see an ID badge or call the company to verify his or her identity.
Tampa Electric, one of Florida’s largest investor-owned electric utilities, serves about 730,000 customers in West Central Florida. Tampa Electric is a subsidiary of Emera Inc., a geographically diverse energy and services company headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.