Progress Energy Florida and Tampa Electric have joined together to warn customers of a recent telephone-based scam that has surfaced in the Tampa Bay area.
In the past several weeks, each utility has received several complaints from small businesses, such as medical clinics, law firms and nail or hair salons, that someone impersonating a utility representative has called their office. In some cases, the scammer has targeted residential customers or Asian-owned businesses. The caller, sometimes a man and sometimes a woman, claims the customer’s account will be disconnected shortly because of an unsigned check or unpaid balance, and he or she then requests a credit card number to avoid the disconnection. In at least two cases, customers supplied credit card numbers, which were later used illegally.
Neither Progress Energy Florida nor Tampa Electric will ever call to ask for credit card or debit card numbers. If you are uncertain about an individual's association with your utility, please contact the company for verification:
- For Progress Energy, call 1-800-700-8744
- For Tampa Electric, call 1-888-223-0800
If you suspect you have become a victim of this scam, the utilities recommend you:
- Immediately call your credit-card company to cancel the card
- Call local law enforcement to file a report.
All Progress Energy and Tampa Electric employees and contractors doing utility work are required to carry photo identification cards. If someone claiming to be a utility representative visits your home or business, request to see their badge or call the company to verify their identity.