TOPEKA (KSNT) – The Kansas Attorney General’s Office has put out a warning about scammers who might be looking to defraud residents, demand payments or threaten to shut off power this fall.

According to the AG’s Office, utility companies in Kansas have been reporting an increase in customer calls alerting them of imposters. Scammers will call residents and threaten to shut off water or utility services within days or hours unless a payment is received. The scammers will insist that they must receive payment and have access to a customer’s financial information to keep the lights on or the air conditioner running.

In other cases, the scammer will insist that a customer’s check bounced and demands payment with a pre-paid credit card or gift card. Other callers say they are simply trying to update credit card or banking information they have on file and ask residents to reveal personal information.

As always, when folks you do not know call you and ask for money, payment, or personal information, your best solution is to hang up. If you have questions about the status of your utility bill payments, call the company directly at the phone number printed on your bill.

Statement from the AG’s Office

However, these are not the only scams that have come to the attention of law enforcement. Scammers may also claim the COVID-19 crisis has affected their company along with their customers and they cannot currently process check or card payments. The AG’s Office says that legitimate companies do not operate in this way and to avoid paying cash to anyone on the spot who claims to be from your utility company. Confirm with your utility company that this is an authorized visit to your home.

The AG’s Office is also aware of scams involving solar panel installation companies going door-to-door seeking to sell solar power systems. These companies claim to have established a partnership with your electric provider. Aggressive salespeople lead customers to believe that the solar panel systems will eliminate their electric bill and attempt to lock buyers into financing terms that will last longer than the expected life of the system.

Those who receive such sales pitches should conduct their own research on solar panel systems and report suspected scams to the AG’s Office’s consumer protection division. For more information on how to protect yourself from these and other scams, click here or call the consumer protection hotline at 800-432-2310.