OUC Warns Customers about Utility Bill Scam
Publication Date: 6/28/2012
Scammers ask for personal information such as social security numbers
Orlando – OUC—The Reliable One is alerting its customers about a phony nationwide program that promises to credit or pay utility bills in exchange for personal information, including social security numbers. The scam, which has been reported in a number of states, claims that President Barack Obama is providing credits or applying payments to utility bills. The scammers appear to be targeting the Central Florida area; OUC has received more than 50 calls from customers during the last two days reporting that they had been solicited. OUC reminds customers that we never ask for social security or credit card information over the phone or email.
Here's how the scam works:
- Someone calls a utility customer and tells them that the federal government has a program to pay utility bills on a one-time basis.
- Customers are asked to provide their social security numbers to apply for the program.
- The scammers then give customers a phony Federal Reserve bank routing number to use to receive the credit or bill payment. Some utility customers have reported that they entered the false information, then called the company to verify that the payment was made by the government on their behalf.
- According to reports, the scammers are also emailing, texting and using social media to reach customers.
OUC wants customers to know that OUC does not contact customers to request their social security number or username or password for customers who use online account services.
If you receive a phone call, email or other communication claiming to be from OUC and requesting 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 your local law enforcement agency. If a customer made a payment through this group, the payment was not valid and they will need to contact OUC Customer Service at firstname.lastname@example.org or 407.423.9018 to report the incident.
Customers who have doubts about the legitimacy of any call from OUC, especially one in which payment is requested, should call OUC directly at 407.423.9018 in Orlando or 407.957.7373 in St. Cloud.
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 nearly 225,000 customers in Orlando, St. Cloud and parts of unincorporated Orange and Osceola counties. Visit ouc.com to learn more about our commitment to reliability, affordability and sustainability.
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