TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—On National Utility Scam Awareness Day, Attorney General Ashley Moody is releasing Scams at a Glance: Power-Off Fraud. Reports show a rise in utility scams in Florida. This new edition to the Scams at a Glance series will help educate Floridians about warning signs and red flags to watch out for when setting up, paying and managing utilities.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Scammers know that receiving a text message or email threatening to cut off your utilities can be alarming, prompting people to send money or financial information immediately. That’s why, on National Utility Scam Awareness Day, I want to ensure everyone knows how to spot and avoid these schemes. Scams at a Glance: Power-Off Fraud is a new resource that will help Floridians stay informed and vigilant, safeguarding their finances and peace of mind from scammers.”
Scams at a Glance: Power-Off Fraud includes information about common utility scams such as identity theft, false refunds or discounts, threats to ‘shut off utilities’ and utility worker imposters. The brochure highlights warning signs and red flags to watch out for, offering practical tips on how to protect oneself from these deceptive practices.
Tips to avoid utility scams listed in Scams at a Glance: Power-Off Fraud include:
- Understand that scammers pressure consumers to act fast, so do not be rushed during a transaction;
- Verify information given by the purported utility representatives by checking the latest bill;
- Never provide personal information to an unknown solicitor;
- Know that legitimate utility companies will not threaten immediate service disruption; and
- Refunds will appear directly on a customer’s account and a credit card or debit card will not be required to obtain the refund.