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Clearwater Customer Service Shares Utility Scam Advisory

9/4/2013 2:59:43 PM

Contact: John Scott, 562-4556

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

September 4, 2013

Contact: John Scott, Clearwater Customer Service Director

Phone: (727) 562-4556

Email: john.scott@myclearwater.com

Clearwater Customer Service Shares Utility Scam Advisory

Clearwater, Fla.—Clearwater Customer Service reminds customers to be aware of scams as mentioned by the Attorney General, Pam Bondi’s office. Utility scams are on the rise and Florida’s utility customers are the main targets. The scam involves individuals who impersonate utility company employees in order to obtain credit card or prepaid debit card information. The imposters call customers and request credit card or prepaid debit card information, threatening to shut off the utility service if the information is not provided by the customer. They then use this information to make fraudulent purchases. Some thieves are using caller ID spoofing, making it appear that the call originates from the customer’s utility company. Clearwater utility customers can protect themselves from this scam by:

? Not providing credit card or prepaid debit card information over the phone in response to a phone call they receive;

? Knowing that utility companies never ask for or require a prepaid debit card for bill payments and never call a customer seeking personal information or credit card numbers. Additionally, in the field, utility company employees carry picture identification badges and never ask a customer for money;

? Hanging up the phone when such a request is made and then calling the utility company at a number that you know is accurate, or contacting the company through its website; and

? Reporting suspected scams to the appropriate utility company:

-Duke Energy Florida, Inc. customers should call 800-700-8744 -Clearwater utility customers should call the Clearwater Customer Service Department at

(727) 562-4600

-Or call the Clearwater Police Fraud Hotline at (727) 562-4424

Visit MyFloridaLegal.com, for more detailed information and/or consumer protection tips.

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