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AG Beshear Issues Alert: Scammers Targeting Utility Services

AG Beshear Issues Alert: Scammers Targeting Utility Services

Bill Stephens

June 16th, 2016

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 15, 2016) – Today Attorney General Andy Beshear issued a Scam Alert to warn Kentuckians of a frequent scam where con artists pretend to be your utility company.

Kentucky consumers, particularly small-business owners and senior citizens are reporting high rates of calls and solicitations from someone claiming to represent their utility company, wanting to collect immediate payment for an overdue bill. Customers are threatened to pay immediately or their electricity, water or other utility will be turned off.

The scammers use this threat to make Kentuckians act quickly and often demand bank account or credit card information, or payment via wire-transfer or gift cards.

“As temperatures increase outside, con artists are taking advantage of consumers who are dependent upon utility services to keep their homes cool and safe, or their businesses open,” Beshear said. “Do not fall for this scam and do not make a payment or give out personal information over the phone. Kentuckians should call the number they know is correct for their utility provider and verify any concerns with their bill.”

Beshear stresses these tips from LG&E and KU to help protect consumers and business-owners:

  • Do not provide your personal information: Utility companies will never call and ask for credit or debit card numbers or other personal information.
  • Contact your utility company: Customers who receive a suspicious solicitor at their home or a phone call, email or letter should contact their utility provider to verify.
  • Ask about bill payment options: Ask your utility company to explain the variety of official and secure ways to pay your bill.
  • Sign up for billing notifications: Check with your utility provider to determine what types of billing notifications are available.

If you are a victim of the utility company scam, report the illegal activity to your service provider and the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Office at 888-432-9257 or ag.ky.gov.

One of Beshear’s top priorities is to protect Kentucky consumers, especially seniors from scams, abuse and exploitation. To help Kentuckians stay up to date on new and trending scams, Beshear launched Scam Alerts – a communication service that alerts Kentuckians when con artists are on the attack. To sign up for Scam Alerts, text the words KYOAG Scam to GOV311 (468311). Or, enroll online at ag.ky.gov/scams and select text message or email alert.

 

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