Jacksonville, FL — It’s not a new scam, but it is making the rounds again in Northeast Florida.
JEA says they’ve seen an increase in scam calls to customers, who report that they get a call from someone claiming to be with JEA and threatening to disconnect service unless the customer makes an immediate payment. The caller will generally say the customer is behind on utility payments or that the utility meter needs to be replaced. The scammer tells the customer to buy a “MoneyPak” payment card at a location like Winn Dixie or CVS, and call them back with the card information or face disconnection.
If you get a call like this, JEA is asking you to notify them by calling 904-665-6000, or 904-665-6250 for commercial customers.
You can identify a scam call in a number of ways, including that there is a threat to disconnect service, a request for immediate payment, or a request for a prepaid money card. JEA says none of this aligns with how they operate.
To protect yourself, JEA says you should immediately hang up if you get a phone call like this- or delete the email or shut the door if the communication is online or in person, respectively. If you’re unsure about the authenticity of a communication, you can always call JEA at the number on your monthly bill or their website- but don’t use a number provided by the scammer, as that may also be false. If you ever feel you’re in immediate physical danger, you can also call 911.
JEA says legitimate utility companies will also not specify how a customer should make bill payments, like demanding a money card.
Additionally, JEA says anyone with a delinquent account will get notification of disconnection in advance, typically by mail and with your monthly bill. Legitimate companies do not give only an hour’s notice or provide only one communication.
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