With the return of season and the migration of our friends from up north come some uninvited guests as “scam artists” who look to bilk our residents out of their hard-earned savings.
The Coastal Breeze News has received reports of phone calls received, in both Collier and Lee County, attempting to defraud families by posing as collection agents for LCEC (Lee County Electric Cooperative). In the call, the scammer claims that the customer is in arears and the power to their home or condo is about to be shut off.
The caller directs the resident to obtain a money order in order to clear the delinquent amount. They then direct the resident to a vendor who is selling the money order cards. The cards are legitimate, but the call is fraudulent.
The resident is told to call back an official sounding 800 number and give them the scratch off code found on the rear of the card. The account would then be “cleared” of the delinquent amount.
The calls come in on the weekend or after hours to prevent you from reaching an official at LCEC, therefore leaving the most vulnerable in our community afraid something had gone amiss with their payments. Being good citizens, they would immediately seek to address the issue and therefore become another unwitting victim of another devious scam to relieve them of their cash.
Should you receive one of these calls, immediately hang up and contact 911 to report the suspicious activity. If you received one of these calls in the last week, please report it to the Marco Island Police Department at 239-389-5050.