Sarah Paz-Claro is decked out in her Halloween apron and making spooky treats Thursday, but the South Florida cake designer says what's really scary are phone calls she's been receiving these past weeks.
"I got several phone calls on different dates and it was from a man claiming to be FPL and his words to me were that if I didn't pay my FPL bill that he was going to be shut down automatically," she said, adding that "in a business that's kind of a frightening thing.”
Paz-Claro said she thought the call was strange because the man called from an out of area number, spoke to her in Spanish and requested her credit card information to pay her Florida Power & Light bill.
"Some of the signs that were a little bit odd were that we receive our statements via email, so it was very strange, and it's on automatic pay so it was very strange that we were receiving this call," she said.
After checking with her husband who takes care of the bills, Paz-Claro realized it was a scam and hung up the phone. FPL spokesperson Florencia Contesse said Paz-Claro did the right thing.
"FPL does not call you directly to ask for credit card or prepaid card information," Contesse explained.
She said they've been receiving calls about this scam and want to use the opportunity to alert the community. Aside from suspicious phone calls Contesse says scammers use the Internet or go personally to homes.
"It could even be someone who comes and knocks on your door which would not happen either because we make any energy audit arraignments in advance," Contesse said.
On their website www.FPL.com/protect the company has posted tips on how to avoid being scammed. If you receive a suspicious call they recommend you hang up the phone, call FPL at the number on the bottom of your monthly statement and notify your local police department.
As for Paz-Claro, she didn't give the scammer her information but says she is worried about more vulnerable customers.
"I alerted the station because I was concerned specially for people who are not maybe Internet-savvy or older people from our community that they may end up giving this gentleman their bank account statement,” she said.
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