OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – Nov. 13, 2017 –Kansas Gas Service is standing with other local utilities, including Black Hills Energy, Kansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc., Westar Energy and KCP&L, to educate consumers about scams targeting utility customers and ways they can protect themselves.
November 14 is National Utility Scam Awareness Day, which raises the awareness of scammers posing as utility company employees in an attempt to steal customers’ private information.
Typically, these scammers use telephone, mail, email or door-to-door tactics to target customers. They pose as electric, water or natural gas company employees, and threaten customers by saying their service will be disconnected or shut off if they fail to make an immediate payment – typically using a prepaid card or other non-traceable form of payment.
Tips to help you avoid being the victim of a utility scam:
- You should never purchase a prepaid card to avoid service disconnection or shutoff. Legitimate utility companies do not specify how customers should make a bill payment and always offer a variety of ways to pay a bill, including accepting payments online, by phone, automatic bank draft or mail.
- If someone threatens immediate disconnection or shutoff of service, customers should hang up the phone, delete the email or shut the door. Customers with delinquent accounts receive an advance disconnection notification, typically by mail and included with their regular monthly bill.
- If you suspect a scam, you should hang up, delete the email or shut the door. Then you should then call your utility company at the number on your monthly bill or the company’s website, not the phone number the scammer provides.
You can learn more about avoiding scams on our website at www.UtilitiesUnited.org.