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Scammers use more savvy techniques to rip off people in Collier County

Florida Power & Light customers beware: Crooks are posing as the power company to steal your money.

A rare video of a Collier County Sheriff’s Office Deputy shows him calling a suspected criminal on purpose. He is dialing a potential scammer who recently called a local business, pretending to be from FPL.

“It’s kind of a cat and mouse game where they step up their game we step up our game,” said Sgt. Brian Sawyer, from CCSO. “They said they were going to cut off the power that we owed $884.01.”

They go back and forth. The scammer gives the Deputy instructions.

“Once you’re there, you’re going to look for a green-colored card,” the scammer said. “The name on the card is called, MoneyPak.”

The Deputy goes along, hoping to learn more about the method used to rip people off. What CCSO learned is that these scams are becoming more sophisticated.

Sgt. Sawyer said they have 800 numbers, extensions and voice prompt. When a person answers the call, the scammers know who answers the phone.

CCSO said they see all kinds of scams, in addition to people pretending to be FPL. FPL told WINK News, it never calls to threaten to turn off your power. It will never demand immediate payment through a pre-paid card.

Deputies said to be sure you know who is calling. If you are not sure, hang up. Then, look for the real number and call the company directly. If you give money to a scammer, it is almost impossible to get it back.

“Basically, on a cold call yourself,” Sgt. Sawyer said. “Make sure that is who is contacting you.”

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