Pinellas County Sheriff’s detectives say it appears that scammers are again phoning residents identifying themselves as a Duke Energy employee.

Detectives were notified about this recent scam Nov. 30 and say it is similar to the one reported in February.

Detectives say the suspect calls residents falsely identifying themselves as a Duke Energy representative and demands payment before the citizen’s power gets turned off.

The suspect instructs the citizen to go to the nearest convenience store to purchase pre-paid debit, credit or gift cards. The suspect instructs the citizen to provide the numbers on the back of the card and directs them to provide the card information.

Detectives say there have been multiple incidents where Pinellas County citizens have been targeted using this scam.

Duke Energy will never call citizens requesting money over the telephone. Detectives advise citizens to not give personal information or account information over the phone, and call the Sheriff’s Office to report suspicious activity.

If anyone has information on these scams or has become a victim, they are asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at 727-582-6200.