TAMPA - Two years and $600 dollars ago, Taija Pettit learned an expensive lesson.
"I was really sad about it," she remembered.
The 23-year-old Tampa resident got a phone call offering to give her $7,800 for college tuition if she wired money first. A US Marine Corps reservist, Pettit says she fell for it because they called it a federal program, sponsored by President Obama.
"He's my boss," she said.
Now, two years later, the President's name is part of another scam, this one nationwide.
"[They're] trying to scam our customers into believing that President Obama was going to pay their power bills," said TECO Spokesperson Cherie Jacobs.
According to TECO, scammers are contacting customers by phone, e-mail, social media, and even showing up in person wearing TECO uniforms. They offer to pay power bills if customers hand over sensitive information, like bank account or social security numbers.
TECO is warning customers that their employees never ask for private information over the phone or through e-mail, and they're always required to wear a photo ID badge.
"This one was very fast and very widespread," Jacobs said.
So fast, TECO believes the scam fooled 2,000 customers in just 24 hours, and the number continues to climb.
Plus, it may not be the only Obama scam out there, because Pettit just got another tuition offer Thursday.
"She did mention the president," Pettit recalled.
This time, the single mother didn't buy it. President Obama may be her boss, but now she knows he wouldn't ask for her private information or her money. A tough lesson to learn, and now she's got her own for the scammers.
"Stop hurting families that are trying to actually make a real living," Pettit said.
Anyone concerned they might be a victim should call TECO customer care. In Hillsborough County, the number is 813-223-0800. In Polk County, that number is 863-299-0800. All other counties should use 1-888-223-0800.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
UPDATE: The National Weather Service says the tornado that hit Moore, Oklahoma, was a top-of-the-scale EF-5 twister with winds of at least 200 mph.