Police warn of scammer threatening to cut off electricity if people don't pay up

jwarren@herald-leader.comApril 23, 2014 

A telephone scammer has been extorting money from some people in Lexington by claiming that their electric service is about to be cut off, police said.

According to Lexington police, a number of residents and business owners have received fake calls over the past 48 hours from someone pretending to represent Kentucky Utilities.

Police said the caller tells victims that their accounts are overdue, and that electrical service will be cut off immediately if they don't pay up.

"We've received about 10 complaints from people who got calls, some who thought it sounded fishy and some who actually paid," Lexington police spokeswoman Sherelle Roberts said Wednesday.

Police said the caller tells victims they can avoid having their electricity cut off by buying a prepaid "Green Dot Money Park Card" and loading it with various amounts of money.

Once the victim buys the card, the caller requests the card number and the money is immediately transferred to an overseas account, Lexington police said.

The Lexington Police financial crimes unit is encouraging people to disregard such calls and avoid falling prey to the scam.

"We also remind everyone to never give personal information or bank account information to anyone over the phone or through text message," the police department said in a news release.

Jim Warren: (859) 231-3255.

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