Kissimmee Utility Authority has received several reports of a scam involving residents and their payments in the Kissimmee area.
Customers that are actually current on their KUA payment are still receiving calls that they are not and that their utilities will immediately be shut down unless they make payment using a reloadable debit card (Green Dot) or gift card, or provide debit card or bank account information.
According to KUA, scammers are using “spoofing” software to falsely display the name and number of KUA on the customer’s caller id. Some residents have even reported being visited by someone claiming to be from KUA.
KUA warned on their Facebook page that threats of immediate shut down usually indicate a scam. The company also reminded customers that they will always send a past due notice by mail and an automated phone call before terminating service, and will never demand payment over the telephone.
Customers are able to pay by check, credit card or debit card and can make changes by contacting a customer service representative.
Tips from KUA to avoid falling victim to a utility scam include:
- Never provide your Social Security Number, credit card number or banking information to anyone requesting it over the phone or at your home unless you initiated the contact and feel confident with whom you are speaking.
- If you receive a call or visit from someone claiming to be your utility company and feel pressured for immediate payment or personal information, 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.
Unless you are expecting a utility-related visit, keep your door locked and call KUA to confirm the identity of the visitor.
If you have fallen victim to this scam or any other, please contact law enforcement immediately.