Scammers may attempt to take advantage of people during ongoing crisis
(LOUISVILLE, Ky.) – Now more than ever, businesses and residents should keep their guard up when it comes to scammers. Knowing that people are naturally distracted while managing the impacts of the coronavirus outbreak on their daily lives, consumers may be prime targets for scammers. Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company are warning customers to stay vigilant and protect themselves against falling victim to those who may attempt to take advantage of them during the ongoing crisis.
“We’d like to think everyone’s energy is focused on protecting our families and our community as a whole, but we know that scammers like to take advantage of these types of situations,” said LG&E and KU Vice President-Customer Services, Eileen Saunders. “That’s why we all need to make sure we stay alert and, along with everything else we are juggling right now, follow tips to help guard against becoming a victim.”
Currently, the only in-home visits being conducted by LG&E and KU are those to perform essential service-related work including gas leak investigations, move-in requests and new service turn-ons, much of which is scheduled with the customer in advance.
Due to COVID-19 and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, LG&E and KU employees are practicing social distancing when feasible; requesting customers who are sick remain at a distance and may need to wear protective equipment including masks, respirators, gloves and protective suits to ensure their safety. Despite the possible new “uniform,” employees always carry an authentic company ID badge which — whether issued to an employee or a contractor — show the companies’ logos. An employee ID card always has the employee's name and color photograph on the front as well.
LG&E and KU encourage customers to always obtain positive identification in the event someone appears at their door stating they are there on any company’s behalf.
Customers are reminded to be aware of other potential signs of scam activity, which include threats to disconnect service, requests for immediate payment, and requests for a pre-paid money card.
The utilities encourage customers to follow these SAFE tips to protect your personal information.
- Secure your personal information: LG&E and KU will never call and ask for credit or debit card numbers or other personal information.
- Always remember you have bill payment options: LG&E and KU offer customers a variety of official payment options. A complete list can be found here.
- First check with LG&E and KU if you’re suspicious: Customers who receive a suspicious live phone call, an email or letter should call LG&E and KU which will always verify official communications. LG&E customers should call 502-589-1444 (outside Louisville at 1-800-331-7370); KU customers should call 1-800-981-0600.
- Enlist the help of authorities: In addition to contacting the company, 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.
LG&E and KU work year-round with local law enforcement investigating these types of crimes, and participate in the Utilities United Against Scams (UUAS) consortium to raise awareness among customers and expose tactics used by scammers.
UUAS is a consortium of more than 140 U.S. and Canadian electric, water, and natural gas utilities and their respective trade associations, and as of last year, this group helped to cease operations of nearly 5,000 toll-free numbers used against utility customers by scammers.
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 329,000 natural gas and 418,000 electric customers in Louisville and 16 surrounding counties. KU serves 558,000 customers in 77 Kentucky counties and five counties in Virginia. More information is available at www.lge-ku.com and www.pplweb.com.