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Orange County

Phone Scam Alert: Orange County Sheriff warns of fake utility company calls

Beware of unknown suspects posing as local power companies reps such as Duke Energy or the Orlando Utilities Commission. The scammers telephone homes as well as commercial customers and convince them victim they have an overdue bill. The victim is then told their service will be cut.
But instead of referring the victim to the appropriate website or office location, they request payment in the form of a prepaid credit or gift cards. Depending on the scam they may ask for card numbers or direct the victim to load them to an online account.
THIS IS A RED FLAG! It is part of the scam.
The callers may speak in Spanish or English and the suspects are using computer programs to spoof the legitimate company telephone numbers.
DO NOT provide any personal information over the phone.
Account balances can usually be verified through the power company’s website or by calling the publicly listed telephone number posted online. Victims can report this scam by calling our non-emergency number at 407-836-4357.
You can also file an online e-report:
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) also has advice about this utility scam:

How To Avoid Utility Scams

  1. Hang up and call the utility company yourself. Call the company using the number on your bill or the utility company’s website even if the person who contacted you left a call-back number. Often times, those call-back numbers are fake. If the message came by text, don’t respond and do the same. If your bill says you owe anything, pay it as you normally would, not as the caller says.
  1. Never wire money or pay with a reloadable card, gift card, or cryptocurrency to anyone who demands it. Only scammers will require one of those kinds of payment. Your utility company won’t ask you to pay that way. Once you send the money, you probably won’t get it back.

If you’re actually behind on your utility bills, read Getting Utility Services: Why Your Credit Matters to learn more about your options.

What To Do If You Paid a Scammer

Scammers often ask you to pay in ways that make it tough to get your money back. No matter how you paid a scammer, the sooner you act, the better. Learn more about how to get your money back.

Report Utility Scams

If you got a call from or were contacted by a fake utility company

And be sure to let other people know about this scam. Then they can avoid it, too.

Orange County Sheriff's Office, Duke Energy, Phone Scam, Utilities, Federal Trade Commission


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