KISSIMMEE, Fla., September 7, 2016 – Kissimmee Utility Authority is warning its customers to beware of a new scam aimed at confusion over smart meters.
On Wednesday, the utility received numerous reports from small business customers in Kissimmee that have been contacted by phone by individuals claiming to be from the utility. The caller states he or she represents KUA, and the customer must pay a deposit to receive a new smart meter. The caller states that without the deposit, the utility will shut off electric service. The caller directs customers to purchase a money transfer card, and then asks the customer to relay that information over the phone.
This is a fraudulent activity. KUA does not operate in this manner, and any authentic charges by the utility will be reflected on a customer’s bill.
Any threat of immediate disconnection is generally a sign that customers have been contacted by a scam artist. Additionally, these scammers often use “spoofing” software that lets them falsely display the name and phone number of the utility on the customer’s caller ID.
KUA offers these tips to avoid falling victim to a utility scam:
* Never provide your Social Security Number, credit card number or banking information to anyone requesting it over the phone or in person unless you initiated the contact and feel confident with whom you are speaking.
* If you receive a call claiming to be your utility company and feel pressured for immediate payment or personal information, hang up the phone and call the customer service number on your utility bill.
* Always think safety first. Do not give in to high-pressure tactics over the phone or in person for information.
Customers approached for this type of personal information, or who believe they may be a victim of a scam, should report the incident to law enforcement.
Founded in 1901, KUA (http://kua.com) is Florida’s sixth largest community-owned utility powering 70,000 customers in Osceola County, Fla.