Columbia Water & Light Warns Residents About a Scam

3 years 8 months 4 days ago Wednesday, December 18 2013 Dec 18, 2013 Wednesday, December 18, 2013 5:12:00 PM CST December 18, 2013 in News
By: Jessica Park, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA -Missouri Attorney General Chris Coster issued a warning to Missourians Wednesday about a phone utility scam.

In Mid-Missouri, the scammers have been calling residents claiming they are Columbia Water and Light employees and demanding that residents pay their utility bills over the phone. Residents have been asked to hand over their credit card and bank account information right away.

Connie Kacprowicz is the Utility Services Specialist for the Columbia Water and Light Department and she says as soon as residents are asked that information, they should realize that it's a scam.

"The bottom line that everyone should take away is that no city of Columbia employee is allowed to take payments over the phone," Kacprowicz said.

Both Kacprowicz and Lynn Cannon, the Assistant Director of Finance for the City of Columbia, have said the city doesn't shut down a residential or commercial building without prior notices.

"We do have a robo call that will notify a individual who may be subjected to disconnect that you know they need to come in and make a payment," Cannon said.

Residents have 20 days after they get their bill in the mail to pay to the City of Columbia. Cannon added that the city also gives a 3-day grace period for Columbia residents.

This scam, similar to one residents have called in about last May, is targeting commercial businesses in Columbia.

"I think the cause of concern is, especially if you own a business, which it seems like this one had targeted mainly businesses, certainly you don't want your business to be shut down during the holiday season," Kacprowicz said. "People were very afraid of losing their electricity in the middle of a work day."

Cannon said the office received the most amount of calls on Tuesday including 20 different commercial customers calling about this problem. Some customers have said they've received calls from people named Jason Watson and Tony from a 1-800 number.

Both city officials say residents should know exactly who is calling them when they ask for their credit card or bank information to pay a bill over the phone.

The Columbia Police Department also gave several tips to avoid these phone scams:

- Make a phone call to verify the information.

- Be skeptical - Always take your time making a decision. Legitimate companies won't pressure you to make a snap decision.

- Never send cash, money orders or give our personal information such as credit card numbers and expiration dates,bank account numbers, dates of birth or social security numbers to unfamiliar companies or unknown person.

- If you verify the call and a recording picks up not staing the name of the company, it could be a scam.

Also, if you believe a scammer has called you asking for your personal information, you should notify the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division Hotline at 1-800-392-8222.

More News

Grid
List
CALLAWAY COUNTY - Callaway County Sheriff's deputies, state troopers and a SWAT team on Wednesday surrounded a home where an... More >>
30 minutes ago Wednesday, August 23 2017 Aug 23, 2017 Wednesday, August 23, 2017 5:55:00 PM CDT August 23, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - On Friday, The University of Missouri Board of Curators are expected to approve the Memorial Stadium South Expansion... More >>
2 hours ago Wednesday, August 23 2017 Aug 23, 2017 Wednesday, August 23, 2017 3:58:00 PM CDT August 23, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens once again pushed for Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D-St. Louis) to resign after her... More >>
2 hours ago Wednesday, August 23 2017 Aug 23, 2017 Wednesday, August 23, 2017 3:42:00 PM CDT August 23, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – Graduate students at the University of Missouri say while they've achieved a lot of success in the past... More >>
2 hours ago Wednesday, August 23 2017 Aug 23, 2017 Wednesday, August 23, 2017 3:41:00 PM CDT August 23, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – The solar eclipse has come and gone, and Columbia is saying the once-in-a-lifetime event brought around $1.36 million... More >>
2 hours ago Wednesday, August 23 2017 Aug 23, 2017 Wednesday, August 23, 2017 3:39:00 PM CDT August 23, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Gov. Eric Greitens announced appointments to several boards and commissions, including three new members of... More >>
3 hours ago Wednesday, August 23 2017 Aug 23, 2017 Wednesday, August 23, 2017 3:25:30 PM CDT August 23, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Traffic in downtown Columbia is already chaotic, especially due to the ongoing construction near campus. Throw in... More >>
3 hours ago Wednesday, August 23 2017 Aug 23, 2017 Wednesday, August 23, 2017 3:25:00 PM CDT August 23, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Powerball jackpot has reached its' second highest total in history, estimated at $700 million, which someone could... More >>
3 hours ago Wednesday, August 23 2017 Aug 23, 2017 Wednesday, August 23, 2017 2:30:00 PM CDT August 23, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia police are looking for the man they say fired shots at a vehicle. Investigators say a... More >>
3 hours ago Wednesday, August 23 2017 Aug 23, 2017 Wednesday, August 23, 2017 2:26:43 PM CDT August 23, 2017 in News
CUBA, Mo. (AP) — A Native American tribe in Oklahoma is hiring lobbyists in its bid to open a casino... More >>
4 hours ago Wednesday, August 23 2017 Aug 23, 2017 Wednesday, August 23, 2017 2:16:26 PM CDT August 23, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Three people are recovering from injuries after strong turbulence forced a regional airline plane to divert... More >>
4 hours ago Wednesday, August 23 2017 Aug 23, 2017 Wednesday, August 23, 2017 2:05:07 PM CDT August 23, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Just months after dismantling a Confederate memorial, the city of St. Louis has torn up a... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, August 23 2017 Aug 23, 2017 Wednesday, August 23, 2017 1:04:28 PM CDT August 23, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — There's a new website aimed at providing sexual harassment resources to interns following past allegations... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, August 23 2017 Aug 23, 2017 Wednesday, August 23, 2017 12:37:57 PM CDT August 23, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Governor Eric Greitens says if a state lawmaker who expressed hope on Facebook that... More >>
6 hours ago Wednesday, August 23 2017 Aug 23, 2017 Wednesday, August 23, 2017 12:25:00 PM CDT August 23, 2017 in News
AURORA (AP) - A former Aurora school superintendent is no longer facing a misdemeanor charge of failing to report child... More >>
7 hours ago Wednesday, August 23 2017 Aug 23, 2017 Wednesday, August 23, 2017 11:23:00 AM CDT August 23, 2017 in News
HILLSBORO (AP) — Authorities say an eastern Missouri woman who is charged with fatally shooting her sleeping boyfriend told investigators... More >>
7 hours ago Wednesday, August 23 2017 Aug 23, 2017 Wednesday, August 23, 2017 10:54:00 AM CDT August 23, 2017 in News
BOONE COUNTY - Deputies arrested a man on Tuesday on suspicion of sexually assaulting an underage female in June. ... More >>
8 hours ago Wednesday, August 23 2017 Aug 23, 2017 Wednesday, August 23, 2017 9:39:00 AM CDT August 23, 2017 in News
The Powerball jackpot climbs to $700 million, giving players a chance to dream of winning the second-largest lottery prize in... More >>
10 hours ago Wednesday, August 23 2017 Aug 23, 2017 Wednesday, August 23, 2017 8:13:00 AM CDT August 23, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 77°
7pm 76°
8pm 70°
9pm 67°
10pm 64°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

6:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 6
6:30p
Wheel of Fortune
7:00p
America's Got Talent
6:00p
Family Guy
6:30p
Family Guy
7:00p
Arrow

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
America's Got Talent
8:01p
Marlon
8:30p
Marlon
9:00p
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
7:00p
Arrow
8:00p
Supernatural
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld