Utility scams are on the rise and scammers have increased their efforts to take advantage of utility customers.
OUC will NEVER call to demand immediate payment or ask customers to pay their bills with pre-paid cards, crypto currencies, or by using third-party payment apps like CashApp, Venmo or Zelle.
If you receive a suspicious call from a possible scammer, please remember these tips:
- Slow down. Scammers typically try to rush customers by demanding personal information and immediate payment.
- Verify. Scammers often pose as OUC employees. If the scammer is on the phone, make sure they can verify they are an OUC employee by verifying your OUC account information.
- Report suspicious activity. If you suspect a scam, hang up and call OUC immediately at 407-423-9018. Victims of these scams also can file a complaint with the Florida Attorney General’s Office at MyFloridaLegal.com or by calling 1-866-9NO-SCAM.
Utility scammers can be extremely sophisticated, and often use strategies that can make customers believe they are not an impostor. Here are a few common scams:
Immediate Phone Payment Scam
Scammers threaten to turn off utility service unless the customer makes immediate payment via a prepaid debit or credit card. These calls often utilize “spoofing” technology to make it appear that the call is coming from OUC. Hang up and call OUC immediately at 407-423-9018.
Impostors pose as an OUC employee and demand that you make a bill payment or tries to sell you a service. OUC does not conduct door-to-door sales or enter a home unless a customer has requested an appointment, such as a home energy audit. If you do not have a scheduled appointment with an OUC technician and if you doubt the identification of the person, close the door and call local law enforcement.
Email Bill-Payment Scam
Scammers use official-looking emails, perhaps with OUC in the sender’s address field to trick unsuspecting victims into paying fraudulent utility bills. If you receive a suspicious email, rest your cursor on the address and click the down arrow to reveal the original sender’s account. Do not respond to the email or open any attachments the email may contain.
Fraudsters have begun using text messages to defraud unwitting targets. The text message may demand you click on or call a number to make a payment, or your electricity or water will be immediately cut off. OUC does not utilize texting to request payment. Ignore the text message and do not click on any links.