Utility companies mark second annual 'Utility Scam' Awareness Day to help protect customers
If you've received this call recently, chances are it's a scam.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- If you've received this call recently, chances are it's a scam.
"Your gas and electric bills are overdue, but you can settle with a prepaid debit card."
In fact, it is called the "utilities scam" and involves a person calling and saying you have an overdue bill that you can settle over the phone.
"When they called, they said that they were calling from LG&E," said Cisa Kubley, who owns Sew Fitting on Main Street in New Albany.
Kubley said she received the surprising phone call recently at work. She said it sounded serious, but she didn't worry, given that she lives in southern Indiana and don't have LG&E.
Kubley knew it was a scam, but the caller stayed in character.
"He was just insistent that we had to pay this bill, even when I told him I knew it was a scam call ... (that) we were not paying him anything," she said.
Bruce Gadansky, Vice President of Operations at the Better Business Bureau, said the call Kubley received was likely the "Utilities Scam."
"We hear two variations of it," Gadansky said. "Someone shows up and claims to be from the utilities, and they're not.
"The other is the one in which the customer receives a phone call that he must immediately pay or she must immediately pay or they are going to be shutdown, shut off."
According to utilities companies, consumers report losing millions as a result of the "Utilities Scam." Gadansky is not surprised.
"They make thousands of these phone calls every day, and a certain number of folks will respond to those thinking they are in fact talking to the utility," he said.
That's why utilities companies across the country and Canada designated Wednesday as Utility Scam Awareness Day.
Daniel Lowry, a spokesperson for LG&E and KU, said the goal is to raise awareness and share information that could save consumers a lot of money.
"We're not going to call you at all and ask for your credit card numbers and tell you to give us those numbers for payment or we're going to shut you off," Lowry said.
Kubley didn't fall for the scam, and she's sharing her story and making phone calls to friends and neighbors to make sure others don't lose their money.
"Even if I only help one person avoid this, it was worth five minutes of my time to make those calls," she said.
If you have questions or concerns, you can contact the companies at the numbers below with questions.
- LG&E residential
- 502-589-1444 or 800-331-7370
- LG&E business
- 502-627-3313 or 800-331-7370
- KU/ODP residential
- KU/ODP business
- 859-367-1200 or 800-383-5582
- Duke Energy
- Home: 800-521-2232
- Business: 800-774-1202
- Hearing or Speech Impaired: 711 (TTY OR TDD Relay Service)
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