Tampa Electric: Beware of scammers calling to collect an 'overdue' bill

Tampa Electric Co. and the Tampa Police Department issued a warning Thursday about scammers who impersonate utility workers attempting to collect a payment.
Scammers are impersonating Tampa Electric Co. workers attempting to collect “overdue” bills. Pictured are Tampa Electric linemen in 2018. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times (2018)]
Scammers are impersonating Tampa Electric Co. workers attempting to collect “overdue” bills. Pictured are Tampa Electric linemen in 2018. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times (2018)]
Published February 8

Tampa Electric Co. and the Tampa Police Department issued a warning Thursday about scammers who impersonate utility workers attempting to collect a payment.

The scammers call businesses during a busy hour and appear to have a phone number belonging to the utility, according to a news release. They then tell the customer that they must buy a pre-paid debit card from a nearby drug store if they don't want their power turned off. Tampa Electric spokeswoman Cherie Jacobs said several customers called regarding the scam, prompting the release.

"Tampa Electric never demands payment in person or calls to ask for credit or debit card numbers," Janelle McGregor, spokeswoman for the Police Department, wrote in a warning on neighborhood social media NextDoor.

To verify a Tampa Electric employee, call 863-299-0800 in Polk County and 813-223-0800 everywhere else.

Contact Malena Carollo at mcarollo@tampabay.com or (727) 892-2249. Follow @tampabay.com.

Advertisement