Scam Uses Power Bill For Cash And Personal Information

By  //  October 3, 2013

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Scammers claim to be an FPL employee

BREVARD COUNTY • PALM BAY, FLORIDA — Two local businesses have reported being victimized by a scam that seeks to use the local power company as a ploy to get personal banking and other information. A third business was contacted but realized it was a scam before any money or information was provided.

Mark Renkens

Mark Renkens

Florida Power & Light (FPL) has warned its customers about phone calls being made by someone claiming to be an FPL employee.

The scammers are calling from outside the U.S. through an internet based phone service.  The victims are told that their bill is past due and they must pay or their power will be shut off.

The caller provides them with the name of their business and their FPL account number along with an amount that is past due.

VICTIMS ARE ASKED FOR SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS

“We’ve confirmed that this is indeed a scam that is not only being reported here but throughout the state. What makes the scam seem so legitimate is that they know the name of your business and your account number. The best thing you can do is never give out personal information over the phone. When in doubt contact the company you have an account with directly to verify the information.” — Deputy Chief Mark Renkens.

The victims are given a bogus bank routing number and are asked to provide personal information such as social security number and credit card numbers in order to pay their bills.

In all three Palm Bay cases the scammer provided the victim with a Green Dot Money Pak card they were instructed to load with the designated amount of money owed on their “past due” accounts.

The victim is then instructed to contact a phone number to provide their account access numbers in order to access the cash on the card.

“We’ve confirmed that this is indeed a scam that is not only being reported here but throughout the state,” said Deputy Chief Mark Renkens.

“What makes the scam seem so legitimate is that they know the name of your business and your account number.  The best thing you can do is never give out personal information over the phone.  When in doubt contact the company you have an account with directly to verify the information.”

 


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