Victims warn of FPL scam

Caller claims customer is late on paying bill

MIAMI – It started with a phone call from someone claiming to be from Florida Power & Light.

"They call me (and tell me) that they're going to shut off my power because I didn't pay for three months," said Evelyn Guerrero, who owns True Salon in South Miami. "They knew I was a little tough with them because I'm a really good payer and nobody can get me with that."

The same call was made to Alina Montenegro, owner of Kid Station.

"I said, 'What do I need to do?' He said, 'Well, you have to send a payment of $500 in cash and within 30 minutes,'" she said.

Montenegro said the caller suggested she go to a Walgreens or CVS pharmacy to make a money transfer. Worried about the children in her care, she did it.

"Then I get an email from FPL telling customers about the various scams that are going on," she said. "This morning, I got up -- I cried so much last night -- I said, 'I have to do something, get even.'"

As for Guerrero, when she threatened to call the police, the scammer hung up.

Below is an email sent to FPL customers earlier this week:

"New twist to international email scam targeting utility customers Scammers are targeting utility customers with emails that appear to be monthly bills from FPL and other legitimate utilities, like Pacific Gas & Electric. These emails are bogus and may contain malicious spam. Do not open or click them and do not provide any personal information. Authorities have been notified of this scam.

If you receive an email bill from an electric utility other than FPL, it's likely a scam. Do not open or click on the email. Delete it immediately.

If you receive an FPL email bill that looks different from your normal bill or seems suspicious in any way, do not click any links. Look at the account number to verify that it is your actual account number. You can find your account number by looking at an old bill or by logging in to your account on FPL.com. If the account numbers match, then the email is a legitimate email from FPL. If they do not, delete the email immediately.

If you think you may have been a victim, report it online to the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force at stopfraud.gov.

Remember, FPL will never send emails threatening to close your account if you do not take the immediate action of providing personal information.

You can find images of these scam emails as well as additional tips on how to protect against scams by visiting FPL.com/protect."

Learn how to protect yourself from scammers at fpl.com/protect.