PENSACOLA, FLA. (WEAR-TV) — Gulf Power is warning their customers to watch out for callers claiming to be Gulf Power employees and demanding payments.
They said the number of these calls rise around the holidays.
Pensacola resident Bill Fetke knew something was fishy, when he got a similar phone call Wednesday morning.
"A representative claiming to be Gulf Power calls up and says we're about to be disconnected and to make a payment,” he said.
Fetke thought he may have been behind on his bills, so he called the number given to him.
"He said because of Hurricane Michael we've asked everyone to update your information. So all of the payments didn't go through. I go my account says zero. Oh no it's in a different account, but you have to update it for the money to applied,” said Fetke.
He knew that didn’t sound right and immediately hung up.
Gulf Power spokesperson Jeff Rogers said Fetke is not alone.
He said there have been hundreds of similar cases reported.
The callers come up with a variety of stories, trying to get money or credit card information from customers.
"It's heart-breaking for us and all other kinds of utilities around us where they're kinda trashing the name and taking advantage of these poor folks. Especially during this time of the year, we want our customers to be vigilant," said Rogers.
Gulf Power does not make phone calls asking for payments. Instead, they send out letters or hang notices on front doors.
If you do get a suspicious call, Rogers said call Gulf Power.
"Hang up the phone and call us. It's a simple call and ask 'Hey I just got a call saying I owe money- is that correct? I mean we'll tell you we never call demanding immediate payments like that,” he said,
Fetke is glad that’s what he did.
"If it means hanging up and calling back- do it. It's worth it in the long run,” says Fetke.