Lakeland Electric wants to make customers aware of a variety of scams that frequently target utility customers. A Lakeland Electric representative will never call requesting payment or ask for your bank or credit card information over the phone. If you have any doubts about the legitimacy of any call, email or visit from someone claiming to be from Lakeland Electric, especially one in which payment is requested, you should contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 863-834-9535. Being well informed can help you detect suspicious behavior and ultimately help you to avoid a scam. Below is the latest scam that could affect you. Call your local law enforcement if you suspect any of these:
Green Dot MoneyPak/Phone Scams
This scam targets small commercial businesses and attempts to collect payment. The scheme works like this: Customers receive a call telling them their electric service is scheduled for immediate disconnection and they need to make a payment by purchasing a "Green Dot MoneyPak" at a local convenience store. The "Green Dot MoneyPak" card is a temporary pre-paid credit card. After the customer purchases the card, he is told to call back and provide a receipt and PIN number. Once that information is obtained, the money on the card is then transferred to those behind the scheme. Pay over the phone by only calling the authorized number on your bill (863) 834-9535.
REPORT FRAUD OR SCAMS
If you think you may have been a victim of a scam, please contact us by calling (863) 834-9535. You can also contact the authorities listed below:
· Lakeland Police Department (863) 834-6900
· Polk County Sheriff (863) 298-6200
· Federal Trade Commission (File a complaint online)
· Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs
· Financial Crimes Enforcement Network
· Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force
If you have been a victim of fraud or identity theft, it is critical that you take the following actions:
· Call the financial institutions and credit card companies that you deal with to inform them of the situation
· Call one of the three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax or TransUnion) to report it and place an alert on your account. The agency you contact will notify the other two bureaus
· Call the Social Security Administration if your Social Security card or number is stolen
· Change the PIN (personal identification number) and password to all of your online accounts
· File a police report and get a copy of it for your records
· File a complaint and an Identify Theft Affidavit with the Federal Trade Commission
· Remember to keep a record of what happened and the actions that you took to resolve the issue
Lakeland Electric is called a “municipal utility” (also known as a “muni”) and that means that, as a customer of Lakeland Electric, you are also an owner of the utility. As a municipal utility, Lakeland Electric measures our success by how much money stays within Lakeland through low rates and contributions to the city budget, unlike a private power utility whose money goes to stockholders across the country and around the world. A “muni” utility is owned by the city it serves. It exists to provide a public service to the citizens, businesses and industries of the community. Service, not profit, is the utility’s ultimate mission.
To show our pride for being a service minded Municipal Utility we have created oval car magnets that read, “MUNI”. These magnets will begin showing up around town, and we are so excited for them to hit the streets. Currently it is just our employees that have the magnets, but our goal is to spread the pride (and magnets) throughout the community.
Throughout the year we will be holding contests for you to win your very own “MUNI” car magnet. If you are interested in winning a magnet, all you have to do is find us at a local event and be able to recite what being a Municipal Utility means/is. Once you do that, the new magnet is yours! We would love to see the magnets all around town, and cannot wait to start giving them away.
If you would like a magnet today, or do not think you will be able to make it to one of the local events you can send you address to Kelly Kautz our Program Coordinator Kelly.Kautz@lakelandelectric.com. She will send out your personal “MUNI” magnet as soon as possible.
If you would like to learn more about us, here is a link to our 2015 Annual Report. Inside you can find a glimpse at our history, our overall mission and where we are headed in the future.