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Special to the Chronicle
Progress Energy Florida is urging customers to be on alert for a new utility bill payment scam affecting customers across the country.
Under the scam, customers are receiving a call informing them their electric service is scheduled for immediate disconnection and they should make a payment by purchasing a “money pack” card at a local drug or convenience store. Progress Energy has received reports of customers who have been contacted about this scam in its Florida service territory, targeting Spanish-speaking customers.
The “money pack” card is a temporary pre-pay credit card that requires a registration process.
After the customer purchases the card, he or she is instructed to call the fraudulent party back to make a payment. The customer is instructed to provide a receipt number and PIN number. Once that information is obtained, the money on the card is then transferred to the fraudulent party.
Progress Energy does not contact customers to obtain personally identifiable information. In addition, the company encourages anyone who receives a call indicating their electric service is scheduled for immediate disconnect to contact law enforcement and report the attempted fraud.
Any homeowner in doubt about the identity of someone claiming to be a Progress Energy employee should call Progress Energy’s customer service center at 800-700-8744 to confirm the employee’s identity.
Customers who are contacted by phone, email, through social media or through other channels can verify an individual’s affiliation with Progress Energy by calling the same number.