Scam Alerts

 
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JEA employees are regularly out in local neighborhoods to work on electric or water meters, maintain power lines, fix water/sewer pipes and administer home energy programs. Occasionally, we hear reports of people posing as JEA employees. Please remember that all JEA employees carry photo identification. Ask to see it and call us at (904) 665-6000 to verify if you are in doubt as to whether someone works for JEA.

Phone Call Scam

Things To Remember if You Think You've Been Targeted

JEA will never:

  • Require a customer to purchase a prepaid debit card. Customers can make payments online, by phone, by automatic bank draft, by mail or in person.
  • Send a single notification one hour before disconnection. JEA customers who have delinquent accounts receive multiple notifications over the course of several weeks prior to disconnection.
  • 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 individuals who claim to be 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, and 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.

Common Scams Targeting JEA Customers

False Claims

Be wary of these and other scams targeting JEA customers. 

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Closed Title:Grocery Reimbursement Scam
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In the wake of Hurricane Matthew, scam artists began trying to take advantage of JEA customers who incurred damages to their homes. If you are emailed a link, or see one on social media, advertising money to reimburse you for groceries that spoiled 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 About JEA's Claims Resolution Policy

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Closed Title:Federal Routing Number Scam
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Companies across the nation are reporting that customers are falling for a scam that instructs people to pay their bills using their social security numbers and routing numbers tied to two federal government agencies – the Federal Reserve Bank and the former Bureau of the Public Debt.

Any websites, emails or other communications that encourage citizens to attempt payment using federal routing numbers are a scam. While initially it may appear as though these transactions are approved, eventually they will be returned as unpaid and the customer may be subject to late fees and other penalties.

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Closed Title:"Feed the Children" Scam
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A JEA commercial customer recently received a call from someone pretending to be calling 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 further dupe the customer, the scammers held a phony three-way call supposedly with JEA. 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.   

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Sales Scams

Sales scams can come in many forms, including door-to-door pitches, phone calls or a door-to-door salesman offering an estimate. Here are just a few of the scams happening in our area.

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Closed Title:Rooftop Solar Scam
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Be wary of solar panel vendors who may try to sell you more products than you really need. Be sure you to research the vendor and the product they are selling so 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 work for JEA or a local utility, offering a free energy assessment. Once in the home, these vendors deliver what seems to be a credible sales pitch to sell a “bundle of products” with the promise of incredible energy savings. These product bundles come 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. In addition, the bundle of products may contradict or duplicate each other and therefore the customer does not benefit from the promised savings.

JEA strongly encourages customers to “do their homework.” If you have a 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 to help you make an informed choice. Do not sign anything until you are sure of what you are getting. JEA can offer many alternative options and opportunities for comparison.  

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Closed Title:Energy Assessment Fraud
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Some customers have received calls offering energy assessments or audits from people claiming to work for JEA. The caller claims 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 also would never make promises up front about the level of savings, since every home is unique.  

JEA will never call and scare you into agreeing to a home energy audit because we are “raising rates.” JEA has no rate increases scheduled at this time. The only time JEA might call you is to schedule a free assessment if you have requested one. 

Legitimate JEA Assessments

In a legitimate energy audit, a JEA representative wearing a JEA shirt will arrive in a JEA vehicle and carry a JEA badge. The representative will inspect your home for free, offering 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 (904) 665-6000. Again, you call us asking for this service. We will never call you about these services.
Learn 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 (904) 630-0500 or the State Attorney’s office at (904) 630-2440.

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Closed Title:Water Testing Scam
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JEA water customers may also be 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 pristine Floridan aquifer some 1,000 feet underground, where 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 About the Safety of JEA's Water

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Closed Title:"Clean Power" Sales Pitch
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Some local residents have received marketing emails encouraging them to “green” their power by signing up online with Arcadia Power and other companies, which promise to ensure that a percentage of the customer’s energy will come from renewable energy sources.  

Please note these companies are in no way affiliated with JEA. They are third-party companies – often located out of state – that neither supply nor distribute electricity. Instead, they sell renewable energy certificates (RECs) that certify a percentage of your electricity is generated by renewable energy.

JEA customers interested in green power already have that option. Through JEA’s SolarSmart program, residents can opt to have a percentage of their energy generated by local solar farms without installing solar panels on their home or paying additional fees to third-party, out-of-state companies.
Learn more about SolarSmart

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Service Disconnection Scams

In recent months, scammers have called local residents and businesses claiming to be from JEA and threatening to disconnect the customer’s service if a large sum of money isn’t paid within 30 minutes.

2017.08 August Email Commercial Phone Call Scam

Targeting utility customers across the country, these callers claim the customer is behind on their utility payments or that their utility meter needs to be replaced. The customer is then instructed to go to a Winn Dixie, CVS or Walgreens, buy a “MoneyPak” payment card and call them back at the phone number provided with the MoneyPak card information and pin number to prevent their service from being disconnected. Don’t do it!

Customers who receive one of these calls are urged to notify JEA at (904) 665-6000. Commercial customers may call (904) 665-6250 to speak with a JEA Business Support Team representative.

Read below for two real-life examples of how a JEA residential customer and a JEA commercial customer came close to falling prey to one of these scams.

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Closed Title:Sandra, Residential Utility Customer
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A scammer came close to fleecing Sandra Martinez out of a lot of money. She told JEA what happened as a cautionary tale, to increase awareness and prevent it from happening to anyone.

“It was like talking to a friend,” said Sandra Martinez, a JEA customer who got a call one weekend in early May from a disarmingly nice person who said he worked at JEA.

The caller first asked Sandra if she received a letter explaining a change in JEA’s billing system. Sandra told him she had not. Then he proceeded to weave a complicated tale.

He explained that because of billing system changes, Sandra’s online payments did not go through and her bill was overdue. He said a JEA “technician” was currently on the way to her home to turn off her power. To prevent this, she needed to go to the nearest Walgreens and make a payment using a “MoneyPak” card.

Sandra thought the call was strange but she agreed to go to Walgreens. “I actually got in my car,” she said. “But before I pulled out of my driveway I called JEA at 665-6000.”

She’s glad she did. JEA’s computerized phone system told her that her bill was up to date. “And then I got someone from JEA on the line. She told me don’t pay anything. It’s a scam.”

Sandra said the scammer called her back about 20 times after that, but she never answered the phone. “I wanted to though. I wanted to tell him, ‘Shame on you. How could you do that to people?’”

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Closed Title:Auto Spot, Commercial Utility Customer
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Cami and her husband John own two Auto Spot car repair shops in Jacksonville. They pay their bill online and on time every month. Their business cannot function without electricity.

One day, Cami got a call from a man who said he worked at JEA. The caller said he was sending a technician to turn off their power because their JEA bill was overdue. Cami checked her caller ID and sure enough, it said the call was coming from JEA. “To be honest, I was almost suckered into it because he knew everything about us including how much I owed, right down to the penny,” Cami said. “But I knew I had just paid the bill.”

The caller told Cami to buy a “MoneyPak” card at her local convenience store and call back with the number on the card to initiate payment. Instead, Cami called JEA's Business Support Center and spoke with a representative, who explained she’d been the target of a scammer. Cami was so angry, she called back the scammers at the number they gave her.

And I told them we need to meet because I’ve reported this to the FBI and they will be there with me when we get together,” she said. “And they laughed this evil, evil laugh and hung up. It was very creepy.”

Storm Preparation Tip

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