Another bill payment scam has hit Kissimmee Utility Authority and its residential customers, and the utility wants to make the public aware.
KUA has been getting reports from customers — as many as 250 since Friday — about threats of service disconnection for unpaid account balances, even to customers were not behind on their payments. Sadly, some customers have fallen victim to the scam.
Scammers use Caller ID spoofing software to misrepresent KUA as the source of the phone call, and providing victims with a fake “verification” phone number. These call-back numbers also include exact replicas of KUA’s company greetings and hold messaging.
Customers are being warned that their service will be shut off immediately unless they pay a sum using a prepaid debit card such as MoneyPak or Green Dot, which are not traceable, that can be purchased from local store. Victims are instructed to load a cash payment and call back the scammer to provide the card’s account and PIN number to release the funds.
“It’s important to remember that KUA will never proactively contact customers to get their credit card, banking or other financial information over the phone,” said Susan Postans, KUA’s vice president of customer service. “Even if you have a past-due balance that needs to be paid, KUA will always provide a past-due notice in writing before shutting off service.”
Among the ways to protect yourself from such scams: Hang up immediately on such suspicious callers, never give any financial information or prepaid card or wire transfer information, and only use the phone number listed on your utility bill or KUA website (www.kua.com) to contact KUA.
If you believe you have been a victim of a scam, please contact KUA or local law enforcement like the Kissimmee Police Department or the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, which works hand-in-hand with the utility to stop criminal activity like this.