(LOUISVILLE, Ky.) — The Federal Trade Commission reported last month it received more than 2.8 million fraud reports from consumers ― losing more than $5.8 billion ― in 2021. With scams and threats to personal information an ongoing challenge for consumers of all types, Louisville Gas and Electric Company, Kentucky Utilities Company and Old Dominion Power, the name under which KU operates in Virginia, are joining organizations across the country in raising awareness during National Consumer Protection Week, March 6 – 12.
As part of this effort, the utilities are advising customers to protect their personal information. Scammers most often resort to using intimidation tactics and may even pull information they’ve found publicly available online to make themselves sound more credible. The utilities are offering seven tips to help customers fight fraud and to guard against becoming a victim.
Tips to P-R-O-T-E-C-T
- Personal information is protected: LG&E, KU and ODP will never contact customers and demand credit or debit card numbers, checking account information or other personal information.
- Remember you have bill payment options: LG&E, KU and ODP will never require using a prepaid debit/gift card or ask a customer to transfer money to a third-party app. The utilities offer a variety of convenient options to make it easier for customers to pay their bill, including through our official mobile app, online, in person, by phone or by mail.
- Observe intimidation tactics: Scammers will resort to using intimidation tactics. This may include threatening service disconnection if a payment isn’t received within a very short amount of time. They may even pull information they’ve found publicly available online to make themselves sound more credible. If you observe these types of tactics, end the interaction right away and do not provide any information. LG&E, KU and ODP will never demand an immediate payment or threaten service disconnection.
- Take your time: As part of their intimidation tactics, scammers may press customers to act quickly. Stop, slow down and end the interaction. Contact your utility directly through our official contact channels to confirm any official communications and the status of your most current bill.
- Enlist the help of law enforcement: Customers who suspect they have been victims of fraud, or who feel threatened during contact with scammers, should report it to their local police department and contact their utility. LG&E, KU and ODP work year-round with local law enforcement agencies investigating these types of crimes.
- Check with your utility if you’re suspicious: Customers who receive a suspicious live phone call, email, text message, letter or in-person visit should contact their utility directly to verify official communications or in-person service visits. LG&E residential customers should call 502-589-1444 (outside Louisville at 1-800-331-7370); KU/ODP residential customers should call 1-800-981-0600.
- Track and save your utility’s official contact channels: Keep on hand your utility’s official phone numbers, website address and other contact channels. Scammers may attempt to “spoof” – or mask over – a utility’s phone number, call from a different phone number or ask the customer to “press 1” to collect personal or payment information. Likewise, note down any phone numbers or other contact information provided by the scammer; this information is very important when reporting the scam to local law enforcement and your utility.
In-person appointments and services
LG&E, KU and ODP encourage customers to always obtain positive identification in the event someone appears at their door stating they are there on any company’s behalf. The utilities’ employees and contractors will always carry an authentic company ID badge that shows the utility logo, the person’s name and a color photograph.
Visit lge-ku.com/safety/scams for more important scam prevention tips and customer resources. The Federal Trade Commission’s website also provides additional information about protecting personal information and other information regarding impostor scams.
Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company, part of the PPL Corporation (NYSE: PPL) family of companies, are regulated utilities that serve more than 1.3 million customers and have consistently ranked among the best companies for customer service in the United States. LG&E serves 333,000 natural gas and 429,000 electric customers in Louisville and 16 surrounding counties. KU serves 566,000 customers in 77 Kentucky counties and five counties in Virginia. More information is available at www.lge-ku.com and www.pplweb.com.
For further information: call the LG&E and KU media hotline at 502–627–4999.