Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) is using the annual Utility Scams Awareness Day to highlight evolving scams that bad actors use to target customers.
Joining Utilities United Against Scams (UUAS) to recognize the sixth annual awareness day, an advocacy and awareness campaign focused on educating customers and exposing the tactics used by scammers, FPL is sounding the alarm on scams that have intensified since the start of the pandemic. This year’s theme – ‘End the Call. End the Scam.’ – focuses on utility impostor scam calls and the advanced tactics used to target customers.
“We encourage customers to remain vigilant and understand the types of threats that exist,” says FPL Customer Service Vice President Christopher Chapel. “Scammers are not backing down and can be extremely sophisticated. Partnering with UUAS allows us to spread awareness of scams and help protect our customers.”
FPL noted that the number of utility scams throughout the country has escalated since the start of the pandemic, with scammers increasing their efforts to take advantage of utility customers and the financial challenges that many have faced. In a press release, FPL outlined potential red flags customers should be on the lookout for and added that the utility company will never call to demand immediate payment with a prepaid card or wire transfer to avoid service disconnection or ask for personal information, such as account or Social Security numbers, unless the customer calls FPL. FPL also said that they will never knock on customers’ doors to sell a product or service, and encouraged customers to always ask to see the FPL employee or contractor’s photo identification badge and work request number prior to letting them in for scheduled appointments.
“It’s perfectly acceptable for the customer to hang up the phone. The scammer’s initial goal is to pressure their targets and convince them that they work for the utility,” said UUAS Executive Director Monica Martinez. “Scammers are extremely sophisticated in their tactics, and, by simply ending the call, you can end their scam. If you are unsure, you can always call back the utility by dialing the number found on your bill or on their website, and they will provide you with the correct information.”
Earlier this year, FPL launched a new scam reporting feature on their website that allows customers to quickly report scams directly through the website. FPL says the information collected will be used to identify emerging scam trends and help with targeted customer outreach.