ORLANDO – Yesterday, numerous OUC customers reported to us that they were targeted by a nationwide scam where criminals are attempting to trick utility customers into paying fraudulent bills. The scammers are calling customers claiming to be from their electric utility and demanding immediate payment by threatening imminent disconnection of services. At least one OUC customer fell victim to this on Tuesday.
The scam is targeting both residential and small commercial customers. The scheme usually works like this: Customers receive a call telling them their electric service is scheduled for immediate disconnection and they need to make an immediate payment through some sort of cash card at a local convenience or grocery store. It often involves a temporary pre-paid 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 told to provide a receipt number and PIN number. Once that information is obtained, the money on the card is then transferred to the criminals.
We want to remind customers we never ask for credit card or banking information over the phone or via email. Customers who have doubts about the legitimacy of any call from OUC, especially one in which payment is requested, should contact OUC directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 407-423-9018 in Orlando or 407-957-7373 in St. Cloud.
If you receive a phone call, email or other communication claiming to be from OUC and requesting payment or other personal information, such as your social security number, username or password, do not provide it and do not click on any links or respond in any manner. Please contact OUC and your local law enforcement agency.
About OUC—The Reliable One
Established in 1923 by a special act of the Florida Legislature, OUC—The Reliable One is the second largest municipal utility in Florida. OUC provides electric and water services to 375,000 accounts in Orlando, St. Cloud and parts of unincorporated Orange and Osceola counties.