Thursday, November 12, 2009

Utility scam

Scammers just aren't letting up on area residents. Last month, we warned you of a scam in which crooks called people and claimed they worked for the Kansas City, Mo., Water Department. The scammers say the residents either didn’t sign their checks or didn’t pay their bill at all and will be charged a hefty fee unless payment is made over the phone. The scammer then asks for a credit or debit card number to satisfy the amount due.

Now, scammers are claiming to be from other utility companies, including Missouri Gas Energy. Once they get account numbers, they make fraudulent transactions on the accounts.

Utility companies DO NOT call customers asking for payment information by phone. Never give out your personal or financial information to someone who initiates contact with you. If you believe you are a victim of this scam, call police, and do the following:

* Notify your financial institutions.
* Notify the three major credit bureaus.
* Obtain copies of your bank and/or credit statements to see if any fraudulent activity has taken place.

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