LEE COUNTY, Fla. - It's being called the most sophisticated scam LCEC has ever seen. An automated phone call says you are late on your payments, and gives you an opportunity to pay your bill.
But be carefull, because this could be a fraud. If you are late on a bill, you will get an automated call from LCEC. And you can pay your bill over the phone.
But now scam artists are copying this move, sending out robocalls, in an effort to dupe you and take your money.
"It gave two options, it gave the option of a late payment amount or a full amount." Sally Kopco didn't think twice when she got a call, saying her power bill was overdue.
"It went on to explain that all the fraud in our area, they needed my drivers license number to verify my account. Which I believed," she said.
After she paid it even gave her a confirmation code. But there was one problem. Her husband had already paid the bill.
LCEC spokeswoman Karen Ryan says the company would already have your personal information on file, and would never ask for your driver's license.
"LCEC would not ask directly for the credit card information. even our customer service rep don't take that information," Ryan explained.
The power company also verifies your identity with a special password, or the last 4 digits of your social security number.
Cape Coral police say cheap technology makes it easier for crooks to take advantage of unsuspecting victims.
"A lot of the abilities that only large companies had five or ten years ago are very low cost or even no cost for somebody who has just a little bit of computer knowledge and a little bit of equipment at home," said Sgt. Dana Coston.
In the end, sally did the right thing. When she learned she had been duped, she immediately called authorities. "It was so real though! I mean, they sounded like LCEC," she said.
So how can you be extra sure that you don't become a victim? If you get an automated call like that, the best way to protect yourself is to hang up. Don't give out personal information.
Then, call LCEC directly, and talk with a representative.