Protecting Against Utility Scams
Scammers have been preying on utility customers for years, and in recent months, KUB has continued to receive reports of these attempts on customers. Unfortunately, as technology evolves, it's not always easy to know when these attempts are really from KUB. The following "Dos and Don'ts" can help customers learn the signs of a scam and educate others about how to protect against them.
Don't Give Out Personal Or Financial Information
Scammers often will attempt to convince someone that they already have sensitive information about a customer or their account; however, this isn't always the case. Never give out personal or account information if someone contacts you claiming to be from KUB or another utility provider. The scammer may ask you to verify information pertaining to your banking or yourself, like your Social Security number or birthday, but you should never provide this information to someone who you are not sure is a KUB employee. According to the Federal Trade Commission, a good rule of thumb is to never give out banking information unless you placed the call or contacted KUB to begin with.
KUB will not knock on a customer's door and demand payment for utility services and will never demand payments by phone or email. If you or another KUB customer receive a call, email, or in-person visit threatening immediate disconnection for nonpayment, cease contact and call KUB immediately at 865-524-2911 to speak to a customer service representative about the status of your account.
Don't Offer Payment In The Form Of Cash, Gift Cards, Or Pre-Paid Credit Cards
Many scams reported to KUB include callers demanding gift cards or other forms of untraceable funding from customers. KUB will never ask for these forms of payment, and payment is never requested over the phone, through email, or in person at your home. KUB does not call or send text messages that threaten to disconnect service and demand payment via MoneyPaks, Green Dot Cards, Money Grams, or other prepaid credit cards. Click here to learn about the only ways KUB accepts payments for customer accounts.
Do Ask Questions
A simple way to potentially identify a scammer is to ask for details about yourself or your account that could only be known by an official KUB representative. Utilities United Against Scams recommends asking for information like your account number, your last payment date, or for the person's name/employee identification number. KUB employees are required to carry employee identification cards with them while working, so they should be able to present these cards to customers if asked. If the person cannot prove their identity, a safe course of action is to always tell them that you will be contacting KUB directly.
Because KUB contracts with other companies, you also may see non-KUB employees with legitimate KUB badges. However, even professional-looking badges may have been forged, so call KUB at 865-524-2911 to verify that someone has been sent to your address.
Do Report Scam Attempts
When KUB is aware of scams affecting our customers, it becomes easier to combat them. KUB often posts on social media and this website when customers report an uptick in scam attempts, which increases customer awareness and may prevent someone from being scammed. Anyone who believes they have been contacted by a potential scammer should call KUB immediately to both verify their account status and report the scam.
Do Stay Aware
Learn more about recognizing the signs of scams and how to react to them through the following resources:
- FTC Utility Scam Tips
- General Tips to Avoid Imposter Utility Scams
- How to Protect Yourself From Utility Scams
KUB cares about your safety. If someone claiming to be a KUB employee asks to enter your home, ask to see his or her identification badge, even if you initiated the visit. KUB employees do not ask to enter a customer’s home unless the customer initiated the visit. Never go outside your home or leave it unattended without verifying the person you're going with is a KUB employee or KUB contractor.