Lakeland Electric wants to make customers aware of a variety of scams that frequently target utility customers. Lakeland Electric representatives will never call requesting payment or ask for your bank or credit card information over the phone.
If you have any doubts about the legitimacy of any call, email or visit from someone claiming to be from Lakeland Electric, especially one in which payment is requested, you should contact us directly at [email protected] or 863-834-9535.
Being well informed can help you detect suspicious behavior and ultimately help you to avoid a scam.
Here are the latest scams that could affect you. Call your local law enforcement if you suspect any of these:
Small Business Scams
Scammers know that small businesses depend on electricity, Internet connectivity and phone service in order to operate. They may call claiming that the bill for a vital service is overdue, and threaten to cut off the electricity or disconnect phone service if payment isn’t made immediately.
They’re counting on you being so panicked that you’ll agree to pay the “bill” by credit card or prepaid debit card over the phone.
Lakeland Electric will send out written notices giving you several chances to pay before disconnection. Lakeland Electric will never call demanding payment.
Some of the scammers also have the ability to manipulate the phone number seen via caller I.D. to display as if the call is coming from a Lakeland Electric phone line.
Pay over the phone only if you initiated the call to the authorized number on your bill (863) 834-9535. Don’t call any number the caller gave you.
Green Dot MoneyPak/Phone Scams
This scam targets small commercial businesses and attempts to collect payment. The scheme works like this: Customers receive a call telling them their electric service is scheduled for immediate disconnection and they need to make a payment by purchasing a “Green Dot MoneyPak” at a local convenience store.
The “Green Dot MoneyPak” card is a temporary pre-paid credit card. After the customer purchases the card, they are told to call back and provide a receipt and PIN number. Once that information is obtained, the money on the card is then transferred to those behind the scheme.
Pay over the phone only by calling the authorized number on your bill: (863) 834-9535. Don’t call any number the caller gave you.
REPORT FRAUD OR SCAMS
If you get a call like this, please contact us by calling (863) 834-9535. You can also contact the authorities listed below:
- Federal Trade Commission (File a complaint online)
- Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs
- Financial Crimes Enforcement Network
- Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force
If you have been a victim of fraud or identity theft, it is critical that you take the following actions:
- Call the financial institutions and credit card companies that you deal with to inform them of the situation
- Call one of the three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax or TransUnion) to report it and place an alert on your account. The agency you contact will notify the other two bureaus
- Call the Social Security Administration if your Social Security card or number is stolen
- Change the PIN (personal identification number) and password to all of your online accounts
- File a police report and get a copy of it for your records
- File a complaint and an Identify Theft Affidavit with the Federal Trade Commission
- Remember to keep a record of what happened and the actions that you took to resolve the issue