Scam Alert blue 300LOUISVILLE, Ky. (3/4/14) — Whether it’s over the phone, through direct email, on the internet or a knock on your front door, today’s con artists have no shortage of ways to take advantage of unsuspecting consumers.

In an effort to keep scammers at bay and in conjunction with National Consumer Protection Week, Kentucky Utilities Company and Louisville Gas and Electric Company are reminding customers of tips to help avoid getting swindled and to guard against scams that could be associated with our company.

Several utility fraud schemes have swept the nation in recent years. One involves a caller who claims to be a utility employee and asks for immediate bill payment by credit card or prepaid money card. If the targeted customer does not cooperate, the caller threatens to disconnect the person’s electric or natural gas service. In another, customers receive emails, from what appears to be their utility provider, stating a past due amount and directing them to click a link.

KU and LG&E offer the following safe advice to residential and business customers:

  • Secure your personal information: KU and LG&E will never call and ask for credit or debit card numbers or other personal information.
  • Always remember you have bill payment options: KU and LG&E offer customers a variety of official payment options.
  • First check with KU and LG&E if you’re suspicious: Customers who receive a suspicious live phone call, an email or letter should call KU and LG&E who will always verify official communications. KU customers should call (800) 981-0600. LG&E customers should call (502) 589-1444 (outside Louisville at (800) 331-7370).     
  • Elect to speak to a KU and LG&E representative: As a courtesy, KU and LG&E do make computer-generated calls to remind customers if their payment is late, and the call includes an option for customers to select if they want to make their payment by phone.

KU and LG&E encourage customers to always obtain positive identification in the event someone appears at their door stating they are there on any company’s behalf. KU and LG&E employees carry authentic company ID badges which — whether issued to an employee or a contractor — show the companies’ logos. An employee ID card always has the employee's name and color photograph on the front as well.

Sometimes there are legitimate service related reasons the utilities may need access to a customer's home, but in person contact at a customer's home never involves collecting payment for a monthly bill.

SurfKY News
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