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JEA customer loses $1,500 through phone scam

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Updated: 10/23/2013 9:00 am
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Local JEA customers are being duped into thinking they're paying their water or electric bill, then find out they've been scammed once the damage is already done.

"We had one customer call in today and they were out $1500," said JEA spokesperson Gerri Boyce.

Here's how it works. You get an unexpected call from JEA, the person on the phone says you haven't paid your bill, and if you don't go out and purchase a refillable debit card, your service will be shut off.

"It's just sad. People are doing things to get their money and there's a lot of us living paycheck to paycheck. That's all we have and we have families at home that we have to take care of," said JEA customer, Maria Brown.

Brown is all too familiar with it. She says her friend put $300 on a card and called the scammer back with the account information to pay her bill.

"She found out it was a scam and called JEA. JEA said that there was nothing they could do about it. That was the last of her money," said Brown.

JEA tells Action News they would never call and ask for payments over the phone.

"What we do is, we let you know on your next bill that your at risk for disconnect. We will send you a notice in the mail that says you're at risk for disconnect and then you will get an automated phone call," said Boyce.

With at least 10 complaints to JEA in the last week, it's obvious these scammers are not finished preying on local families.

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