Melbourne Business Victim of Phone Scam

By  //  February 12, 2014

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Delicious Digg This Stumble This

Scammers Pose as FPL Bill Collectors

MELBOURNE, FLORIDA — The Melbourne Police Department has issued a warning to the public about a phone scam that could cost victims thousands of dollars.

PHONE-SCAM-435-171

The Melbourne Police Department has issued a warning to the public about a phone scam that could cost victim’s thousands of dollars.

On Wednesday, two separate restaurants in Melbourne received calls from a man who stated he was a bill collector for FPL.

In the first incident, the suspect told an employee of a local diner that the business owed $1,983 for service that had not been paid.

“If you receive an unsolicited phone call from anyone that is telling you that you owe money, do not give them payment until you can verify their claim,” says Melbourne Police Community Services Sergeant, Luis Lopez.

He then went on to say that if this payment was not made via a Green Dot Money Pak card (prepaid cash card) within 45 minutes, all power service to the business would be turned off.

As a diner employee drove to a local Walmart to purchase a Green Dot card, the suspect called back and was able to obtain banking information from the restaurant.

Once this phone call was complete, the business owner contacted FPL and was informed that the phone calls did not originate from FPL or anyone that represents them. The restaurant’s bank was notified before any monetary loss occurred.

During the second incident, the suspect called another local restaurant and also informed them that they owed money for FPL services in the sum of $1,489.23.

Anyone who feels they may have fallen victim to a similar scam is encouraged to contact their local law enforcement agency.

Anyone who feels they may have fallen victim to a similar scam is encouraged to contact their local law enforcement agency.

Again, the caller instructed the business to purchase Green Dot Money Pak cards and supply him with the payment information within 45 minutes. Unfortunately in this case, the restaurant manager complied.

Once the transaction was complete, the business discovered it was the victim of a scam.

According to the their website, FPL will never call and ask for credit card information or take prepaid cards as payment, nor do they ask for any personal information from customers unless the customer initiates the contact.

“If you receive an unsolicited phone call from anyone that is telling you that you owe money, do not give them payment until you can verify their claim,” says Melbourne Police Community Services Sergeant, Luis Lopez.

According to the their website, FPL will never call and ask for credit card information or take prepaid cards as payment, nor do they ask for any personal information from customers unless the customer initiates the contact.

Anyone who feels they may have fallen victim to a similar scam is encouraged to contact their local law enforcement agency.


Click here to contribute your news or announcements Free