Lakeland Electric wants to make customers aware of a variety of scams that frequently target utility customers. A Lakeland Electric representative 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 863-834-9535. Being well informed can help you detect suspicious behavior and ultimately help you to avoid a scam. Below is the latest scam that could affect you. Call your local law enforcement if you suspect any of these:
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, he is 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 by only calling the authorized number on your bill (863) 834-9535.
REPORT FRAUD OR SCAMS
If you think you may have been a victim of a scam, please contact us by calling (863) 834-9535. You can also contact the authorities listed below:
· Lakeland Police Department (863) 834-6900
· Polk County Sheriff (863) 298-6200
· 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
Lakeland Electric would never call a customer and demand a bankcard, prepaid credit card or even a retail card such as a prepaid Wal-Mart, Walgreens or CVS card. Lakeland Electric customers are encouraged to sign up for eServices by visiting www.lakelandelectric.com. Through eServices, customers can monitor their energy usage, receive text notifications and pay their utility bill via a secure network connection. Customers are encouraged to call a real representative at Lakeland Electric (863-834-9535) if they have been involved in a possible scam by someone claiming to be a Lakeland Electric employee.
LAKELAND, FL (April 11, 2014) --- Lakeland Electric customers please be aware of a current scam attempt that is taking place where a caller falsely claims to be from Lakeland Electric and is asking customers for banking and/or credit card information.The caller claims that the customer's electricity is about to be cut off if an outstanding bill amount is not paid. The caller then asks for banking or credit card information to pay the outstanding bill.Lakeland Electric does not make calls of this nature and customer service representative will never ask for a customer’s bank account number or credit card number.
If you have any questions or concerns please contact our Customer Service Department at (863) 834-9535.
Help stop scammers now. Learn how to report scams online to the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-FTC-HELPhttps://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/#crnt&panel1-1
SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 8, 2014 --Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has learned of an email scam targeting residents across the United States. The utility has received calls from people, both within its service area and outside of it, reporting that they have received suspicious emails that appeared to be bills sent by PG&E. This is similar to email and phone scams that have been happening recently throughout the country involving several utilities. "It's unacceptable that someone is trying to take advantage of our customers and others," said Helen Burt, senior vice president and Chief Customer Officer for PG&E. "We take our customers' security very seriously and under no circumstances would we email anyone to request that they provide personal information without first logging into My Energy or calling us." If a customer receives one of these emails requesting information about their account, they should delete and take the following precautions:
Report these contacts to CorporateSecurity@pge.com PG&E is investigating the situation along with the appropriate authorities.
Don’t become a victim to a multi-state scam that has made its way to Central Florida over the weekend.
The scam uses online blog posts and videos to instruct consumers on how to use an account from either the Federal Reserve or Bureau of Public Debt to cover personal payments for credit cards, car loans, college loans, mortgages and utility bills. No such accounts exist.
Customers are told to make payments using routing numbers 051736158, 051000033, 071000301 or 061000146 combined with their nine-digit Social Security number, making the request an easy target for identify theft.
The payments were returned by the bank for non-sufficient funds, resulting in a non-sufficient funds fee for the customer and the potential for a late fee and service disconnection by the utility for non-payment.
LAKELAND, FL (December 2, 2015) — BEWARE of calls from American Energy Project
One of our customers has received two tele-marketing calls from such a company saying "Your energy rates have increased.... would you like to know how to reduce your costs...?" If our customers are receiving these calls, it sends the WRONG message of the reality of LE fuel rates declining. The callers are obviously trying to book some kind of home meeting to sell a product. Both times they hung up after customer asked for the person's name and contact information. The call came today at 3:30 pm from 321-594-9410. They called our customers cell phone, not home number.
Published: Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 11:27 p.m.
LAKELAND | Theresa Kotomski wasn't about to let herself get scammed when she answered the phone Wednesday morning."It was a woman who did not identify herself, and I could tell she was reading what she was saying from a paper," said Kotomski. The 71-year-old Lakeland resident previously worked as a customer financial services representative for 13 years."It was 9:39 in the morning. "I'm on the Do Not Call List, which shows you all the good that does." According to Kotomski, the caller proceeded to claim she represented a company and that Lakeland Electric would be raising her power bill by 30 percent. The change would be ¬reflected in her current bill."They told me they'd be in my neighborhood the next day, and they could talk to me about other, alternative options," Kotomski said.Kotomski's call came from the phone number 813-750-8040. Multiple calls from The Ledger to this number were greeted with an automated message accompanied by hold music. The call disconnected after about five minutes each time. Eric Olsen, interim chief investigator for the Hillsborough County Consumer Protection Agency, said he is familiar with this type of call. "We have gotten a few calls about people purporting to represent utility companies or government organizations," Olsen said. "It's very similar to online phishing attempts." Phishing describes an electronic attempt to acquire personal information by posing as a trustworthy entity."The best thing for people to do, especially if they suspect something is wrong, is to call the utility company to verify," Olsen said.Kevin Cook, director of communications for the city of Lakeland, said there's only one way Lakeland Electric customers are notified of any rate changes."It's in their power bill," Cook said. He also has heard complaints from customers who have received calls similar to Kotomski's.Users at 800notes.com, an online directory of unknown callers, have posted complaints from the same number dating to October."It's probably a private organization that charges for audits," Cook said. He added Lakeland Electric conducts free in-home energy audits, and customers can call 863-834-6789. Kotomski called both Lakeland Electric and consumer protection, before filing a formal complaint."Somebody at Lakeland Electric told me they'd gotten a call from another senior who was crying because they'd told her that her power would be turned off," Kotomski said. "What bothered me the most is that I don't know how they got my number."Read the full article on The Ledger.com
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501 East Lemon Street
Lakeland, FL 33801-9881
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