Westar warning public about fraudulent calls

Westar Energy reminds customers to beware of fraudulent calls.

The scammers threaten disconnection, said Gina Penzig, director of corporate communications, asking customers for prepaid credit cards.

?The callers claim to be Westar Energy employees,? she said, ?and we have had several business owners contact Westar Energy?s customer relations center after receiving suspicious calls.?

The way the fraud works in most situations, Penzig said, is that the caller asks for a pre-paid debit card or pre-paid Green Dot card to avoid disconnection of service.

?Westar will never ask for a customer to purchase a pre-paid card to avoid disconnection of service,? she said.

?From customer recounts of these calls, the scammers are becoming more sophisticated. They may use the name of a local employee and provide what seems like a valid employee number.?

Westar encourages customers receiving suspicious calls to let the caller know they want to first call the customer relations center.

?We will appreciate that they are diligent,? she said.

For past-due accounts, Westar Energy won?t make calls requesting payment on the same day as the disconnection.

?The customer should always have the opportunity to call Westar Energy back and verify the information,? she added.

If a customer receives a suspicious call, they should hang up and call Westar?s customer relations center at 800-383-1183.

?Customers can also report suspicious activity to their local law enforcement agency,? Penzig said.

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