Jacksonville, FL (June 23, 2020) – Councilman Becton received a strange voicemail regarding a JEA bill payment that raised a lot of red flags. The voicemail claimed that he had a payment due and to call a specific number to avoid his services being disconnected. Councilman Becton immediately forwarded it to JEA’s Government Relations Contact to warn them of the scam that they may have not been aware of.
“Every day, everyone must be aware that phones calls, emails and other solicitations are out there looking to scam and defraud consumers”, Council member Becton explained. “Using JEA and the current environment where 24,000+ customers were delinquent on their utilities; this became a prime target to be exploited.” “It is my hope that by having this recording of the actual scam message, and distributing it to the public, it will perhaps help others from being a victim.”
Thanks to Councilman Becton’s warning, JEA sent out the following media release to warn other customers about the scam call:
“Periodically, JEA asks for your assistance in relaying important information about scammers preying upon members of our community. Using aggressive tactics, these scammers attempt to trick unsuspecting utility customers into submitting payments to avoid immediate disconnection. IMPORTANT: Due to COVID-19, JEA suspended service disconnections on March 16, 2020. Disconnections have not yet resumed (currently planned for as early as July 9, 2020).
Here are a few important points to help customers avoid being victimized:
- Never respond to requests to go to a store to purchase* a prepaid card or respond via a mobile payment app, (Cash App, PayPal, Venmo, Zelle, etc.), to avoid service interruptions. Utility companies like JEA offer a variety of bill payment options, including accepting payment online, by phone, automatic bank draft, mail, or in person.
- If you are threatened with immediate disconnection, customers should hang up the phone, delete the email or shut the door immediately. JEA has continued to communicate with customers whose accounts are delinquent, even in the midst of disconnection suspensions, by mail included with the monthly bill and via email.
- JEA customers who suspect someone is trying to scam them should call 904-665-6000, not the phone number provided by the scammer. Customers who feel that they are in physical danger should first call 911.
Recently, Councilman Danny Becton received a scam phone call at his home. Luckily, he recognized the scam, and was able to forward the fraudulent voicemail to JEA. A copy of the voicemail is attached in hopes that you will share it as often as possible.
JEA, along with approximately 100 other U.S. and Canadian member utilities and associations, are part of an organization called Utilities United Against Scams (UUAS). UUAS receives recognition for its efforts to stop scams that target electric, water and natural gas company customers. To date, thousands of toll-free numbers used by scammers against utility customers have been shut down.”