In the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, many are struggling to pick up the pieces of their life and start anew. Unfortunately, however, a new deadly scam is emerging that’s costing dozens of victims even more trauma.
Ever since Hurricane Harvey swept through Houston, President Trump has expertly handled the disaster. He’s strategically deployed police units to combat looting and riots, he’s been coordinating with state officials to evacuate high risk locations, and he’s been sending in much needed supplies to the victims and their families.
Unfortunately, sometimes nature really does laugh last, however—almost immediately after Hurricane Harvey destroyed Houston, a Category 5 Hurricane Irma swept through Florida and left a trail of devastation in its path.
While state officials have coordinated with President Trump and FEMA in order to appropriately assess the situation, there’s still one dangerous scam that seems to be falling through the cracks. Many citizens have reported an unexpected visit from utility companies, but after opening their door, the unthinkable happens.
Fox 11 reports:
MARION COUNTY, Fla. (WOFL) – A utilities company near Orlando has received disturbing reports of armed robberies.
Sumter Electric Cooperative says that it has received reports of people posing as utility workers, knocking on people’s doors and robbing them at gunpoint.
The robberies are reportedly happening in Marion County, near Orlando.
The sheriff’s office says they have not heard about any of these incidents.
Sumter Electric Cooperative is now warning people about opening their doors during the storm.
While this is certainly a tragedy, it shouldn’t be surprising. We’ve already seen the extent that these vile thugs will go to when they want to steal a quick buck. Now, it just seems that they’re getting smarter with their scams, and unfortunately many are being victimized because of it.
Most of the reports so far have been related to the Sumter Electric Cooperative, a non-profit company that serves nearly 200,000 families and businesses across seven counties in Central Florida. Sumter Electric Cooperative, or SECO for short, is the third largest electric co-op in all of Florida, meaning that a massive number of citizens are at risk of this new scam.
If you happen to see a utility man on your property with a SECO outfit on, please do not answer your door—while it could certainly be a handyman ready to help you repair any electric damage you’ve suffered, it could also be a vicious thug ready to rob you at gunpoint.
If you do encounter a utility man at your door, it is recommended that you contact SECO before answering him, to avoid any potential conflict that could occur. You can find your jurisdiction’s contact information by going to their official website here and punching in your zip code.
According to numerous reports, this has been the worst hurricane to ever hit the US from the Atlantic Ocean. Its winds measured over 185 miles per hour, its size was unparalleled, and its rate of growth was absolutely astonishing to newbie and veteran weathermen alike.