Latest News Items
Kansas Municipal Utilities (KMU) is warning utility customers about a rise in utility scams in Kansas. Just over the last few weeks, utility customers of Westar Energy, Kansas City Power & Light, the City of Ottawa, Midwest Energy, and other utilities have received suspicious calls regarding their utility bills.
This increase in reported utility scams in Kansas and nationwide primarily involves 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. So please be on your guard. If you are a City of Oswego customer and receive a suspicious call about your water, sewer or trash service contact the City Office at 620-795-4433. They will be able to let you know if there is an issue with a past due bill.
As a reminder, the Better Business Bureau suggests the following tips on how to avoid falling for scams:
- Beware of giving personal information over the phone. Never provide your social security number, credit card number, or banking information to anyone who shows up at your home. NEVER respond to text messages or phone calls requesting personal or account information unless you inititated and feel confident with the contact.
- Use your own personal information. Always pay your bills with your own personal information. Monitor your fianancial accounts (deposit and credit card accounts) on a regular basis. Immediately report any unauthorized transactions.
- Do your research. If you receive a call claiming to be from your utility company and feel pressured for immediate payment or personal information, hang up and call the customer service number on your utility bill.
- Beware of the door-to-door sales approach. Never let anyone into your home to check electrical wiring, natural gas pipes, or appliances unless you have scheduled an appointment or have reported a utility problem. Also, ask utility employees for proper identification.
- Be proactive. If you already provided information to someone, contact your bank immediately. Also contact a national credit bureau to check your account and make a note so your credit rating isn't impacted.
- Inform others. Share this information with friends and family so they do not become victims. The elderly are common victims. If you believe you are a victim or someone is attempting to deceive you, report the telephone number to your local carrier immediately so it can attempt to stop the scammer.
- Always think safety first. Do not give in to high pressure tactics over the phone for information or in person to get into your home.