Beware of Phony Claims Targeting JEA Customers
JEA never calls customers to ask for their bank, credit card or other financial information over the phone. A JEA employee cannot take your bank, credit card or other financial information over the phone. JEA never shows up at your door, unannounced, trying to sell you something.
Keep reading to learn about the latest scam tactics:
JEA employees are regularly in neighborhoods for reasons including reading or working on electric or water meters, administering home energy/water-saving programs and maintaining power lines and water/sewer pipes. We occasionally hear reports of people posing as JEA employees. Please remember that all JEA employees carry photo identification. Ask to see it and call us to verify, if you are in doubt.
JEA customers who have delinquent accounts receive multiple notifications from the company over the course of several weeks prior to utility service disconnection – never just a single notification one hour before disconnection.
JEA never asks or requires customers who have delinquent accounts to purchase a prepaid debit card to avoid utility service disconnection. Customers can make payments online, by phone, by automatic bank draft, by mail or in person.
Also, it’s important to remember that JEA will not:
- Call you to ask for your bank, credit card or other financial information over the phone
- Come into your home without making arrangements ahead of time
- Solicit personal information, such as your full social security number, over the telephone, unless you initiated the contact
- Send emails threatening to close your account if you do not take the immediate action of providing personal information
- Send employees to your home offering cash refunds on deposits or electric charges. We either credit your account or mail a check to your electric service address
When you encounter suspicious activity that involves JEA's name or likeness:
- Ask to see the photo identification badge or work request number from suspicious individuals on your property who claim to be JEA employees or JEA contractors
- Contact us at 904-665-6000 to verify whether the individuals are truly JEA employees or JEA contractors
- Do not allow anyone into your home if you feel suspicious, unsure or confused as to why they are there
- Do not provide personal information over the phone unless you called JEA
- Ignore any suspicious claims to provide personal information such as bank account numbers, user names and passwords, credit card numbers or Social Security number
- Delete suspicious emails that require you to act immediately to verify or provide personal information. If you are unsure of a suspicious email, call 904-665-6000 to verify its authenticity
- Delete any emails from utilities with whom you’re not a customer
- Do not respond to suspicious emails. Responding often results in even more spam and scam attempts directed at you
Do not trust contact information provided in suspicious emails
Grocery Reimbursement Scam
In the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, it has come to our attention that scam artists are already trying to take advantage of customers who have already incurred damages to their homes. If you are emailed a link, or see one floating around social media, advertising money to reimburse groceries lost due to power outages during a storm, do not click on it.
JEA is not responsible for loss of food during power outages caused by weather-related conditions such as lightning, storms, heat, cold or other acts of nature. You also have a responsibility to protect yourself and your property, such as obtaining ice to prevent food spoilage.
Learn more about JEA's Claims Resolution Policy
Caller ID Fraud
This telephone scam has been happening around the country for several years now, but it’s recently gotten more sophisticated with the use of caller ID.
According to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, a scammer recently telephoned a laundromat in Mandarin (they’ve also called dry cleaners, liquor stores and bars). The caller ID showed it was JEA calling from 904-665-6000 and the caller claimed she was Brenda Wallace a JEA Manager, who told the business owner his service would be disconnected if he did not pay $1,998 immediately. She told the business owner to go to the
nearest store and buy money cards (also called MoneyPak cards) and call her back at a designated number with the pin numbers from the money cards. The man did exactly as she demanded but reported the incident to JSO after Brenda Wallace called him back a second time, demanding
more money - this time $3,900.
Rooftop Solar Scam
If you are interested in buying solar panels for your home, be wary of vendors who may try to sell you more products than you really need. Be sure you do research on the vendor and the product they are selling so that you are fully informed before you ever “sign on the dotted line.”
There are some vendors—many from outside our area—who cold-call customers, even insinuating they are working for JEA or the local utility, and offer a free energy assessment. Once in the home, these vendors are making what seems to be a credible sales pitch to sell a “bundle of
products” with the promise of incredible energy savings, at a very high price for which “easy financing” is available. What the vendors do not say is that most of these “extra” products are NOT needed; they only serve to drive up the price and produce more profit for the vendor.
Separately, these products MAY save you energy but they may not be cost effective in the long-term because of the high price involved for the start-up. As a bundle, the products may well contradict or duplicate each other and therefore the customer does not benefit from the promised
JEA strongly encourages every customer to “do their homework.” If a customer has any question or doubt about what is being offered, call JEA at (904) 665-6000. We are here to serve as your trusted advisor to provide information, understanding, and verification so that you--the customer--can
make the right choice. Do not sign anything until you are sure of what you are getting. JEA can offer many alternative options and opportunities for comparison.
Nail Salons Beware
A nail salon recently received a call from someone claiming to represent JEA. They told the owner they had to pay $480 or their service would be cut. They claimed they were updating the meter and if the shop didn't pay the $480 in 30 minutes, their power would be cut off. They gave them a number to call and told them to ask for David or Nancy. When the shop owner went to Winn Dixie to pay the bill, the clerk informed them that it was a scam.
"Feed the Children" Scare
A JEA commercial customer recently received a call from someone pretending to be working on behalf of JEA soliciting donations to help feed children. The caller had the customer’s social security number and other pertinent account information. To help validate the call, they supposedly did a three-way call with JEA and the customer. In the end, the customer donated $655.88 to help “feed the children” but this was a scam. Please remember that JEA will never ask you to donate to a charity.
Read the video transcript
These scammers are targeting utility customers across the country – especially businesses. They’ll ask you to go to a Winn Dixie, CVS or Walgreens, buy a “MoneyPak” payment card, and call them back, at a phone number they provide, with the card information and pin number. Don’t do it!
If you call them back at the number THEY provide, they even make it sound like you have reached JEA. These scammers sound very convincing. They may say you need to pay for a utility meter change out. They may say they’re from JEA’s Disconnection Department. (We don’t have one.) They may even know your account balance! They will definitely scare you by saying your business account is in danger of being disconnected.
Please call JEA’s Business Support Center at (904) 665-6250 if you get one of these calls.
Our representatives are dedicated to JEA’s Business Customers. They’ll explain that JEA never, ever calls our customers asking them to buy a “MoneyPak” card for anything. Protect yourself. Don’t be a victim!
Energy Assessment Fraud
Some customers have received calls from people claiming to work for JEA
offering energy assessments or audits. They claim that JEA's rates will be
increasing in the next five days and that these assessments will save you 25
percent on your utility bill. While JEA does offer energy assessments, our
assessments are always free. We would never make promises up front about
the level of savings since every home is unique.
JEA will also never call you demanding to perform a home energy efficiency audit and scaring you into agreeing to one because we are “raising rates.”
JEA has no rate increases scheduled at this time. The only time JEA might call you is to schedule an assessment after you have already requested one.
How a Legitimate JEA Assessment Works
During an audit, a JEA representative will be wearing a JEA shirt, arrive in a JEA vehicle and carry a JEA badge. The representative will inspect your home and offer cost-effective ideas designed to help lower your energy (and water) costs. He or she will not try to sell you anything. If you would like to sign up for a free energy assessment, call us at 665-6000. Again, you call us asking for this service. We will never call you about these services.
Learn more about JEA Energy Assessments
Please call us if you need accurate information about any of JEA products or services or if you’d like us to confirm the name of a JEA employee. If you feel you’ve been targeted by someone making phony claims in JEA’s name, please call the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office at 630-0500 or the State Attorney’s office at 630-2440.
Water Testing Scam
JEA Water customers are also targets of scammers. Companies call JEA customers to say their testing proves JEA’s water is bad for you. Don’t believe them! Our water comes from the Floridan aquifer some 1,000 feet underground. It’s protected from contaminants by a thick layer of clay. Be careful if the caller offers to test your water for free. Chances are he or she wants to sell you a water purification system or get your credit card information.
Learn more about the safety of JEA's water
JEA never calls customers to ask for their bank or credit card information.
We never show up at your door, unannounced, trying to sell you something.