ORLANDO - OUC wants to make customers aware of a nationwide utility scam that is targeting small commercial businesses and attempting to collect payments. We have had numerous, recent reports of this in the Orlando area. And, in one of the cases, customers lost money to criminals claiming to be from a power company.
One scheme 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 by purchasing a "Green Dot MoneyPak" at a local convenience store. The "Green Dot MoneyPak" card is a temporary pre-paid credit card. 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 those behind the scheme. Of course, there can be many variations of these scams.
Before an OUC customer is disconnected for non-payment, they receive a postcard notifying them in advance that they are behind on their utility bill payments. If we do call a customer, we would call them at least one week prior to disconnection and we do not require the customer to use a pre-paid credit card.
Customers who receive fraudulent calls regarding immediate disconnections are encouraged to hang up and report this to their local law enforcement agency and then to call OUC.
Customers who have any doubts about the legitimacy of any call from OUC, especially one in which payment is requested, should contact 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 230,000 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.