Utility customers warned of scams

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Lexington Emergency Management is advising people to be aware of a utility scam involving Kentucky Utility customers.

They say someone is calling Kentucky Utilities customers from an 800 number, telling them their meter has to be replaced for $480. Customers are told they will be reimbursed in 10 days.

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Authorities want to remind the public no utility company will call and ask you to pay for your meter. They say there are all kinds of phone scams going on right now using the names of various utilities including, internet, cable and satellite providers.

This warning falls on Utility Scam Awareness Day. Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company tell customers to watch for the following red flags:

  • Threat to disconnect: Scammers may aggressively tell the customer his or her utility bill is past due and service will be disconnected if a payment is not made, usually within less than an hour.
  • Request for immediate payment: Scammers may instruct the customer to purchase a prepaid card, widely available at retail stores, then call them back supposedly to make a bill payment to his or her utility company. They may also instruct customers to use a gift card or a form of cryptocurrency.
  • Request for prepaid card: When the customer calls back, the caller asks the customer for the prepaid card or gift card number, which grants the scammer instant access to the card’s funds, and the victim’s money is gone.