Utility Scams Spread Across the Nation
Utility scams are increasing nationwide and West Kentucky Rural Electric Cooperative periodically receives reports from members who have been targets. Utility scams usually involve callers claiming to represent utility companies, demanding payment for a past-due balance through a prepaid card, and threatening to shut off service if payment is not received. If a caller claims to be from WKRECC, but seems suspicious, just hang up and call our office at 1-877-495-7322 to verify.
This is an attempt at fraud. Some utility scams also utilize emails and phone calls. West Kentucky Rural Electric Cooperative discourages members from providing personal, confidential information to any unknown party. Please report suspicious calls or other types of contact to your local police department or Federal Trade Commission.
How to Avoid Falling for Scams:
- Be wary of giving personal information over the phone. Never provide your Social Security Number, credit card number or banking information to anyone requesting it over the phone or at your home unless you initiated the contact and feel confident with whom you are speaking.
- Use your own personal information. Always pay your bills with your own personal information; never pay your bills with information that is not your own.
- Do your research. If you receive a call claiming to be your utility company and feel pressured for immediate payment or personal information, hang up the phone and call the customer service number on your utility bill.
- Beware of the door-to-door sales approach. Never allow anyone into your home to check electrical wiring, natural gas pipes or appliances unless you scheduled an appointment or reported a utility problem. Always ask utility employees for proper identification.
- Be proactive. If you already have provided information to someone claiming to offer this service, contact your bank immediately. Also contact the three national credit bureaus - Equifax, Experian and TransUnion – and request a notation made on your account so that it doesn't impact your credit rating.
- Inform others. Share this information with friends and family so they do not become victims. The elderly are common victims of this type of scam, but anyone who pays a utility bill is a potential victim.
- For more information on common scams, check out the FBI website
*Source: Better Business Bureau