Woman warns of scam callers posing as Florida Power & Light

Whether it’s a phone call, an e-mail, or a text message, scammers are coming up with more ways...
Whether it’s a phone call, an e-mail, or a text message, scammers are coming up with more ways to swindle you.(abc7)
Published: Sep. 19, 2022 at 3:43 PM EDT
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Whether it’s a phone call, an e-mail, or a text message, scammers are coming up with more ways to swindle you. One scam in particular is hitting a lot of Suncoast residents and it’s causing a commotion within the community.

Carole Atkins said she received a call from a random number with a person claiming to be from Florida Power and Light. The man on the other end of the line told her if she didn’t pay a certain amount within the next 30 minutes, they would be cutting off her electricity.

Luckily, Atkins is a member of the Manatee County Crime Stoppers and a volunteer for the Manatee County Sheriff’s Department and knew it had all the elements of a scam and hung up the phone.

Unfortunately, she has very close connection of somebody who wasn’t so lucky, her mother.

“She was, of course, an elderly woman and she lost about $300. It really upset her quite a bit,” she said.

Detective Daniel Gau from the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office says they’re inundated with these types of reports. One of the worst parts about getting scammed, is once that payment is made the money is likely gone forever.

“They use so many levels to keep the secrecy there. We can follow it to a certain extent, but once we get to the end of the road- that’s it. Often times that leads to something that originated overseas,” said Gau.

Detective Gau says they’ve even become craftier with the types of payment for which they ask.

“If they’re asking you to pay via some type of money transfer app like Zelle, or some type of gift card like Google Pay or Apple Pay- that’s a big red flag,” he said.

Gau and Atkins are encouraging everyone to educate themselves on scammers so they don’t fall victim. For information, Florida Power and Light has made a list which people can use as a guideline when trying to decide if the person they’re interacting with is indeed a scammer.