Phone utility scam making rounds

HOLT, Fla., Jan. 20, 2017—CHELCO is warning its members of a scam making the rounds.

Scammers posing as representatives of CHELCO in Okaloosa and Walton counties are calling residents and threatening to turn off utilities unless an immediate credit card payment is made.

The scammers give a name and badge number and ask members to call a 1-800 number to pay by credit card.

This is not a new scam, nor is it limited to Florida counties. A similar technique was being used in other parts of the United States.  In northern Virginia in 2015, an individual actually visited a residence to notify the electricity would be turned off if payment wasn’t made immediately by either a Visa check card or a 1-800 telephone number.

CHELCO reminds members the company will never request personal or payment information via telephone, nor ask for money when visiting a residence or business.

The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office request anyone experiencing an incident such as this to contact OCSO at 850-892-8111.

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