Law enforcement reports scammers have shown up in person
TAMPA, October 16, 2019
Law enforcement agencies are reporting a new twist on an old trick: Scammers have shown up in person at Tampa Electric customers’ homes, and then burglarized the homes while the customers were distracted.
Tampa Electric urges customers to be wary of anyone claiming to be from the utility, either in person or over the phone. Various versions of this scam have affected Tampa Electric – and utilities across the country – for more than seven years.
According to Tampa Police Department, the basic premise of the most recent scam is: • Someone falsely claiming to be a Tampa Electric representative shows up at a customer’s home, claiming to need access to the back yard for maintenance work.• When the customer escorts the scammer into the back yard, another scammer enters the unlocked front door and steals items.
All Tampa Electric team members and contractors 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 their identity.
Another way scammers are targeting utility customers is by calling from a number that appears to be Tampa Electric and demanding immediate payment by prepaid debit card under the guise of disconnection. Tampa Electric never demands payment in person or 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
Tampa Electric, one of Florida’s largest investor-owned electric utilities, serves about 765,000 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.
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