Stay alert to avoid scams this holiday season
LG&E and KU offer important consumer tips on Utility Scams Awareness Day
LOUISVILLE, – Today, Nov. 16, marks the seventh annual Utility Scams Awareness Day when Louisville Gas and Electric Company, Kentucky Utilities Company and Old Dominion Power Company join fellow utilities to raise awareness about common scams and how to avoid them. As the holiday season approaches, scammers will oftentimes try to take advantage of consumers’ busier schedules this time of year.
“Our primary concern is for the safety and well-being of our customers when we learn someone’s been contacted by a scam. Unfortunately, scam attempts are becoming more sophisticated, and they can occur more frequently this time of year,” said Eileen Saunders, LG&E and KU vice president-Customer Services. “The most powerful way to stop a scammer is to recognize the telltale signs of a scam.”
Tips to P-R-O-T-E-C-T
LG&E, KU and ODP encourage customers to follow the below tips on how to recognize a scam, what to do if you suspect you’ve been contacted and how to verify official communications from your utility.
Personal information is protected: LG&E, KU and ODP will never contact customers and demand credit or debit card numbers, checking account information or other personal information.
Remember you have bill payment options: LG&E, KU and ODP will never require using a prepaid debit/gift card or ask a customer to transfer money to a third-party app. The utilities offer a variety of convenient options to make it easier for customers to pay their bill, including through our official mobile app, online, in person, by phone or by mail.
Observe intimidation tactics: Scammers will resort to using intimidation tactics. This may include threatening service disconnection if a payment isn’t received within a very short amount of time. They may even pull information they’ve found publicly available online to make themselves sound more credible. If you observe these types of tactics, end the interaction right away and do not provide any information. LG&E, KU and ODP will never demand an immediate payment or threaten service disconnection.
Take your time: As part of their intimidation tactics, scammers may pressure customers to act quickly. Stop, slow down and end the interaction. Contact your utility directly through our official contact channels to confirm any official communications and the status of your most current bill.
Enlist the help of law enforcement: Customers who suspect they have been victims of fraud, or who feel threatened during contact with scammers, should report it to their local police department and contact their utility. LG&E, KU and ODP work year-round with local law enforcement agencies investigating these types of crimes.
Check with your utility if you’re suspicious: Customers who receive a suspicious live phone call, email, text message, letter or in-person visit should contact their utility directly to verify official communications or in-person service visits. LG&E residential customers should call 502-589-1444 (outside Louisville at 1-800-331-7370); KU/ODP residential customers should call 1-800-981-0600.
Track and save your utility’s official contact channels: Keep on hand your utility’s official phone numbers, website address and other contact channels. Scammers may attempt to “spoof” – or mask over – a utility’s phone number, call from a different phone number or ask the customer to “press 1” to collect personal or payment information. Likewise, note down any phone numbers or other contact information provided by the scammer; this information is very important when reporting the scam to local law enforcement and your utility.
In-person appointments and services
LG&E, KU and ODP encourage customers to always obtain positive identification if someone appears at their door stating they are there on any company’s behalf. The utilities’ employees and contractors will always carry an authentic company ID badge that shows the LG&E, KU and ODP logos, the person’s name and a color photograph.
Online reporting form
LG&E, KU and ODP launched this year a new, convenient online form for customers to provide information if they suspect they’ve been contacted by a scam. By customers sharing information, the utilities can track new or changing scam tactics and then help get the word out to avoid them.
Utility Scams Awareness Day is led by a consortium of more than 150 U.S. and Canadian electric, water and natural gas utilities—and their respective trade associations — called Utilities United Against Scams (UUAS). Through its work and with the help of customer reporting, UUAS has successfully helped take nearly 13,000 toll-free numbers used by scammers against utility customers out of operation.
Visit lge-ku.com/safety for more important safety tips and information.