KISSIMMEE, Fla., July 24, 2017 – Six customers of Kissimmee Utility Authority fell victim to a multi-state scam that made its way to Central Florida over the weekend.
The scam uses online blog posts and videos to instruct consumers on how to use an account from either the Federal Reserve or Bureau of Public Debt to cover personal payments for credit cards, car loans, college loans, mortgages and utility bills. No such accounts exist.
Customers are told to make payments using routing numbers 051736158, 051000033, 071000301 or 061000146 combined with their nine-digit Social Security number, making the request an easy target for identify theft.
The six payments were returned by the bank for non-sufficient funds, resulting in a non-sufficient funds fee for the customer and the potential for a late fee and service disconnection by the utility for non-payment.
In response to the scam, KUA has taken the following precautions to further protect its customers:
- Contacted the bank receiving the payments to put them on alert of the fraudulent activity.
- Disabled the four bank routing numbers in question to prevent further activity.
- Added a warning message to its online payment portal cautioning customers of the scam.
- Contacted each individual customer affected by the scam to alert them that their bill remains unpaid.
“Scams like this are all too common and the individuals behind them continue to find new ways to trick good people out of their money,” said Susan Postans, KUA’s vice president of customer service. “We encourage our customers to always ask questions before they provide personal information.”
Variations of this scam has been reported in several other states.
The Bureau of the Public Debt was dissolved in 2012 after being combined with the Financial Management Service into the single Bureau of the Fiscal Service.
Founded in 1901, KUA (www.kua.com) is Florida’s sixth largest community-owned utility powering 72,000 customers in Osceola County, Fla.