Consumer education and participation are an important part of the Florida Public Service Commission’s (PSC) work. So, National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW), March 6-12, is a perfect time for the PSC to reach out to Florida’s consumers.
This year, the Florida PSC will focus on scam awareness by holding both virtual and in-person meetings with consumers, publishing scam alert tips, and offering direct assistant through the agency’s toll-free line. How to recognize and avoid becoming a victim of utility scams will be highlighted.
“NCPW provides a great opportunity to raise awareness about online privacy and taking precautions to secure your personal information,” said PSC Chairman Andrew Giles Fay. “A better-informed consumer should not only know how to protect their personal information; they should also know how to fight back against scammers trying to disrupt their lives.
“Consumers can call the PSC or their utility directly if they are ever unsure about the authenticity of caller or the identity of a utility worker,” Chairman Fay continued. “The PSC will also continue to update our alerts as scammers change the tactics they use to target consumers.”
Here are some current ways to protect against utility-related scams:
• Watch for calls from those posing as utility employees demanding immediate “past due payments” with a prepaid credit card or MoneyPak card to prevent service disconnection. Utilities will never demand immediate payment through a prepaid card.
• Watch for scammers—posing as utility employees or approved utility contractors—trying to conduct home energy audits to sell energy-related services or equipment. Utilities do not call or visit customers to solicit home energy audits, unless a customer requests an audit and prearranges a time.
The PSC’s consumer analysts are available Monday through Friday to assist consumers in determining if they have received a scam. The Commission’s toll-free phone number is: 1-800-342-3552. Additional information is provided in the attached Scam Alert document, and consumers can also email the PSC directly at email@example.com.
Follow the PSC on Twitter, @floridapsc.