Just this week, several SECO members in The Villages recognized and reported scam phone calls. SECO Energy is warning its members about scammers on the loose on the phone and in person in its service area. Members have reported threatening phone calls from persons masquerading as SECO employees and employees of other utilities. Small business owners in the area seem to be a prime target.
Owners receive a phone call, during business hours, from an individual claiming to be a representative of SECO. The individual then threatens a service disconnection if the member does not pay immediately by credit card over the phone. Scammers have even demanded owners meet with them at an off-site location and pay cash.
Please be advised: SECO will not call members – either residential or commercial – and demand credit card payment over the phone. SECO uses an automated robo-call phone call system after hours to remind members of late payments. A live person will never call and harass a SECO member for immediate payment.
Kathryn Gloria, Vice President of Corporate Communications and Energy Services, cautions members to be wary of payment demands. “Scammers can be sophisticated thieves – they use threatening language to create a sense of urgency in their victims. Scammers choose their victims carefully, they call businesses during busy times, looking for a distracted person who may fall for their scheme.”
Gloria adds, “Above all, be cautious about sharing personal information with callers or making utility payments over the phone. If you receive a phone call and question its legitimacy, hang up immediately and call SECO.”