Scammers posing as bill collectors in Tampa Bay

2:54 PM, Dec 19, 2013   |    comments
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TAMPA, Florida (AP) - A rash of text messages have arrived on the cellphones of Verizon Wireless customers in Tampa Bay, claiming to come from the company.

The Tampa Bay Times reports that in recent days, messages warn customers that their accounts have been or are about to be suspended. If the customers click a link provided in these messages, they will be asked to supply personal information such as birth dates, Social Security numbers, driver's license numbers and credit card information.

Similarly, Duke Energy customers have gotten phone calls in recent weeks from people demanding immediate payment of past-due bills or checks that did not clear. Customers who don't cooperate will have their power shut off.

Both are scams. Officials say reports of phony utility collections have picked up over the holidays.

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