Columbia Water & Light Warns Residents About a Scam

3 years 9 months 4 weeks 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
NAPA, Calif. (AP) — Authorities have identified the firefighter who was killed when the water transport truck he was driving... More >>
3 hours ago Tuesday, October 17 2017 Oct 17, 2017 Tuesday, October 17, 2017 9:49:00 PM CDT October 17, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - In a quiet building tucked behind brick facades and looming trees off Vandiver Drive, the 2018 midterm election... More >>
4 hours ago Tuesday, October 17 2017 Oct 17, 2017 Tuesday, October 17, 2017 8:04:00 PM CDT October 17, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill says she didn't object to a bill weakening federal authority to stop... More >>
5 hours ago Tuesday, October 17 2017 Oct 17, 2017 Tuesday, October 17, 2017 7:12:00 PM CDT October 17, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri's unemployment has dropped slightly. Department of Economic Development data released Tuesday show the unemployment... More >>
5 hours ago Tuesday, October 17 2017 Oct 17, 2017 Tuesday, October 17, 2017 7:08:32 PM CDT October 17, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Jefferson City’s transit system could see new changes soon. The city held a JEFFTRAN System-Wide Assessment... More >>
5 hours ago Tuesday, October 17 2017 Oct 17, 2017 Tuesday, October 17, 2017 7:02:00 PM CDT October 17, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Walter Rolley Jr. served in the United States Army for three years during World War II, and Tuesday,... More >>
6 hours ago Tuesday, October 17 2017 Oct 17, 2017 Tuesday, October 17, 2017 6:53:00 PM CDT October 17, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Two men were arrested Tuesday morning and accused of possession of illegal drugs and firearms at 505 East... More >>
6 hours ago Tuesday, October 17 2017 Oct 17, 2017 Tuesday, October 17, 2017 6:20:00 PM CDT October 17, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia man accused of driving his car into Mizzou Arena over the summer was formally charged Tuesday.... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, October 17 2017 Oct 17, 2017 Tuesday, October 17, 2017 5:09:00 PM CDT October 17, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - New television or cleaning service? New shoes or lawn care? A new study suggests time-saving purchases make people... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, October 17 2017 Oct 17, 2017 Tuesday, October 17, 2017 5:06:00 PM CDT October 17, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Many staff members at MU say they aren't happy, especially on the issue of pay. According to... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, October 17 2017 Oct 17, 2017 Tuesday, October 17, 2017 5:01:00 PM CDT October 17, 2017 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — The former city clerk in Walnut Grove was sentenced to a year and a day in federal... More >>
8 hours ago Tuesday, October 17 2017 Oct 17, 2017 Tuesday, October 17, 2017 4:09:00 PM CDT October 17, 2017 in News
FULTON - Westminster College has announced Dr. Fletcher Lamkin will take over as president later this year. Lamkin previously... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, October 17 2017 Oct 17, 2017 Tuesday, October 17, 2017 3:45:00 PM CDT October 17, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Jefferson City Council approved street repairs for South Lincoln Street after six months of residents dealing... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, October 17 2017 Oct 17, 2017 Tuesday, October 17, 2017 3:30:00 PM CDT October 17, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - A local committee dedicated another African American Heritage Trail Marker on Tuesday. The Sharp End Heritage Committee... More >>
10 hours ago Tuesday, October 17 2017 Oct 17, 2017 Tuesday, October 17, 2017 2:53:00 PM CDT October 17, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- C-SPAN arrived in Jefferson City on Tuesday to meet with local and state politicians and middle school students... More >>
10 hours ago Tuesday, October 17 2017 Oct 17, 2017 Tuesday, October 17, 2017 2:49:00 PM CDT October 17, 2017 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A federal inmate with end-stage renal disease has been spared the death penalty for his fourth murder... More >>
12 hours ago Tuesday, October 17 2017 Oct 17, 2017 Tuesday, October 17, 2017 12:27:00 PM CDT October 17, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A Missouri appeals court has thrown out a $72 million award to a woman who claimed... More >>
12 hours ago Tuesday, October 17 2017 Oct 17, 2017 Tuesday, October 17, 2017 12:19:00 PM CDT October 17, 2017 in News
TONGANOXIE, Kan. (AP) — Authorities have arrested a man and found three sisters whose disappearance in August from their Kansas... More >>
14 hours ago Tuesday, October 17 2017 Oct 17, 2017 Tuesday, October 17, 2017 10:09:00 AM CDT October 17, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 51°
1am 50°
2am 49°
3am 47°
4am 46°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

12:37a
Last Call with Carson Daly
1:07a
Inside Edition
1:37a
Paid Program
12:30a
Cops
1:00a
Top 30
1:30a
Page Six TV

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Blacklist
8:00p
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
9:00p
Chicago P.D.
7:00p
Riverdale
8:00p
Dynasty
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld