Northside Jacksonville Homeowner Target of Possible Utility Scam

Jun 13, 2018

At least one Northside Jacksonville homeowner has been targeted in an apparent utility scam.

Carolyn Thompson received a call from a woman who claimed to be with her utility company’s energy-savers program.

According to Thompson, the caller asked if she owned her home and paid more than $100 on her energy bill over the last five months.

Thompson said the caller knew her address and told her she was eligible for an incentive that would take 30 to 50 percent off her bill each month. The caller said she would send someone out to interview Thompson and get more information the following day.

When Thompson said she would call back instead to schedule a better time, the caller refused and said she would just put her back in the rotation and would call Thompson back.

When Thompson hit redial she got a message that the number was not in service.

Thompson reported the call to JEA, who told her that the fraud unit is investigating.

“I just want them to be aware, and I did call JEA and they [JEA] don’t have anybody and that is our only utility company,” she said.

JEA has seen an increase in scam calls recently, JEA spokeswoman Gerri Boyce said in an earlier email to WJCT News.

A picture of an office phone
Credit Garvid

Boyce said the latest round of calls seemed to indicate primarily commercial customers are being targeted.

In the scam that Boyce cited, the scammers claim to be JEA and inform the customer that unless they purchase a pre-paid card and call back with card number and PIN, their utility services will be disconnected.

JEA is urging anyone who receives a suspected scam call to notify JEA at (904) 665-6000. Commercial customers can call (904) 665-6250 to speak with a JEA Business Support Team representative.

Boyce said JEA is working diligently with authorities to track and block scammers.

JEA has set up a web page where customers can get additional information about service scams.