Monetary Solicitations

Keep reading to learn about the latest scam tactics:

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. 

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.  

MoneyPak Scare

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 Dedicated Business Support Team is 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!

Two Stories on a Recent Phone Call Scam

2017.08 August Email Phone Call Scam

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?’”

2017.08 August Email Commercial Phone Call Scam

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.

Several weeks ago, 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 I.D. 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 her 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 Customer Call Center  and the customer care representative 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.”