Gulf Power warns customers to avoid the Grinch who scams Christmas
PENSACOLA, Fla. –The holiday season is a time for goodwill and kindness, and spending time with family and loved ones. Unfortunately, all that good cheer makes it a perfect time for scammers to prey on unsuspecting victims. And while it is the season of giving, Gulf Power reminds customers not to give out any personal information to any unidentified callers or let any unannounced visitors into their home.
“Unfortunately, the holiday season sometimes makes for easy pickings for fraudsters, who like to make the most of the festive season by coming up with ever more ingenious ways to target consumers during the holidays,” said Rick DelaHaya, Gulf Power spokesperson. “We’ve seen a slight increase of scam activity in our service territory, so we want our customers to be aware that scammers don’t take a holiday.”
According to the Better Business Bureau, scammers can be very convincing and often target those who are most vulnerable, including senior citizens, low-income communities, and those whose second language is English. For utility customers, the scam involves residential and business customers being told their energy bill is past due and that their power will be cut off if the customer does not provide a credit card payment or other forms of immediate payment.
“Most customers recognize these calls as scams,” added DelaHaya. “If you have any doubts about a caller’s identity, don’t give them any information and call our Customer Care representatives immediately.”
Gulf Power advises customers that:
Gulf Power works with law enforcement when customers report these incidents. Customers who think they have been targeted or victimized by scammers are asked to call local law enforcement and to contact Gulf Power at 1-800-225-5797.
Also, don’t let the Grinch ruin your holiday by sneaking away with packages delivered to your doorsteps. And packages and front doors aren’t the only thing targeted by scammers and thieves, they also target our email inboxes, social media feeds, websites and even cell phones.
The Better Business Bureau offers these top tips for consumers:
Read more Better Business Bureau tips on how to avoid holiday scams.
Gulf Power is an investor-owned energy provider with all of its common stock owned by Atlanta-based Southern Company. Gulf Power serves more than 460,000 customers in eight counties throughout Northwest Florida. The company’s mission is to safely provide exceptional customer value by delivering reliable, affordable and environmentally responsible electricity while strengthening our communities. Visit online at MyGulfPower.com or on the company’s Facebook page or on Twitter. News information can be found at GulfPowerNews.com.
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