Scammers are pretending to be TECO representatives, urging you to pay your bill

Posted at 11:11 PM, Mar 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-17 05:52:52-04

A Tampa couple wants to warn others about almost getting scammed when they received a call Thursday morning, urging them to pay their electricity bill.

Ryan and Debi Cherry own King Industrial in Tampa. On Thursday their employees received a suspicious phone call from someone they did not recognize, telling them to pay their TECO bill or their power would be turned off.

"She (our employee) was kind of in a panic. They were saying they were getting ready to turn our power off," Ryan Cherry said.

"And they'd be here within the hour to shut the electricity off, if we didn't make a payment of $500," Debi Cherry continued.

The owners knew it wasn't legitimate because they had already paid their electricity bill. They said they were given a number to call.

"It (the recording) sounded like it was TECO, but then when you got on the phone with them they didn't know your account number and they didn't know your name. There were certain things that they didn't know, which seemed fishy," Debi Cherry said.

According to the Tampa Police Department, they have received a few complaints in the past couple of weeks about a TECO scam with one person losing money.

A Tampa Electric representative said they would never call a customer asking for credit card information or demanding money over the phone for a customer's bill.

The Cherry's did not fall for it and they do not want anyone else to fall for the scam either.

"I can see how that would happen. They get you at the moment where you think I'm going to be without power….I mean that's everything now-a-days," Ryan Cherry said.

A Tampa Electric representative said people need to visit to learn more information about what to look for in order to not get scammed.



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