ASHLAND, Ky. (WYMT) - Kentucky Power is warning customers of scammers posing as company employees.
The utility company says an elderly Ashland resident let someone claiming to work for Kentucky Power into her home to check equipment. The imposter stole $58 and the woman's purse.
“We are continuing to see an unsettling number of scams by thieves impersonating our employees,” said Cindy Wiseman, Kentucky Power’s managing director of external affairs and customer service. “Scammers are becoming increasingly deceptive and we want to notify our customers so they can protect themselves. We encourage customers who receive urgent, demanding phone calls, emails or an unexpected knock on the door from someone claiming to be with Kentucky Power or AEP to be cautious. Customers can contact us at the toll-free number on their bill, that’s 1-800-572-1113, to verify and report suspicious claims or they call local law enforcement.”
Scammers are also contacting people on the phone and online. A convenience store in Hazard recently reported a call from a scammer, Kentucky Power says.
“The safety of customers and employees is a top priority at Kentucky Power and we encourage customers to take steps to protect their homes, businesses and personal information against imposters,” Wiseman said.
The utility company provided the below tips to help customers avoid being scammed:
· If you receive a call or a knock on the door from someone claiming that your service will be terminated unless you make a payment by purchasing a prepaid credit card, hang up immediately, don’t let them in, report the incident to Kentucky Power at 1-800-572-1113 and call local law enforcement.
· Customers should never open their door to someone they don’t recognize and should always ask for a photo ID through the door or window, especially if you did not request a visit from Kentucky Power.
· Never allow anyone claiming to be a utility service person into your home unless you have scheduled an appointment and the person has proper identification. Lock the door and contact police if you become concerned about your safety.
· If someone states he or she is a Kentucky Power employee, ask for his or her employee information. Ask to see photo identification, which should display the Kentucky Power logo, a name and photograph.
· Call customer service at 1-800-572-1113 and a representative can verify the employee and the nature of the visit or phone call.
· Take note of Kentucky Power’s official methods of payment. Customers can pay their bills online at kentuckypower.com, by phone, automatic bank draft, by mail, in person at an authorized payment locations, or with our mobile app available free in the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.
· Call Kentucky Power at 1-800-572-1113 to verify your account balance and the date your payment is due.
· Confirm that you are speaking to a utility representative. If you have any concerns, tell the caller that you will independently check the phone number for the utility to verify the caller’s identity and information.
· Kentucky Power will notify customers by mail that their account is past due and their electric service will be disconnected – never a single notification one hour before disconnection.
· Never give your credit card, debit card, Social Security, ATM, checking or savings account numbers, or any other personal identification numbers to anyone who comes to your home, calls or emails requesting information.
· Customers who suspect or experience fraud, or feel threatened during contact with one of these thieves should hang up and call the local police and then Kentucky Power at 1-800-572-1113. Never dial the phone number the scammers provide.
· Trust your gut. If something seems suspicious, it probably is.