Warning: Tampa Electric cautions customers about prepaid debit card scam
TAMPA, September 7, 2012
Tampa Electric is warning customers to beware of a recent telephone scam where a caller demands a prepaid debit card.
In the past few weeks, the company has received about a dozen complaints from customers that someone impersonating a Tampa Electric representative has called them. The caller claims the customer’s account is past due and requires a prepaid debit card for payment. He then requests the customer buy a prepaid debit card from a local drug store and call back with the card’s number to avoid disconnection. In at least two cases, the scammer ensnared customers. The scammer appears to be targeting Hispanic residents and seniors.
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, 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 Company is the principal subsidiary of TECO Energy Inc. (NYSE: TE), an energy-related holding company with regulated utility operations in Florida, including both Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas System . Tampa Electric serves nearly 676,000 customers in West Central Florida. Other subsidiaries include TECO Coal, which owns and operates coal production facilities in Kentucky and Virginia, and TECO Guatemala, which is engaged in electric power generation and energy-related businesses in Guatemala.