March 3, 2023— As a public power utility company, Kerrville Public Utility Board (KPUB) is committed to protecting you, our customers, from utility scams. As part of National Consumer Protection Week, KPUB wants to warn you of the tactics scammers use and inform you of what KPUB does and does not do to help protect you from becoming a utility scam victim.
Scamming, especially in the utility industry, is becoming increasingly more common. Even though scams are all around us, we can learn to identify and avoid them.
“We’d like to remind our customers that if you ever receive a call threatening disconnection if you do not make an immediate payment, to hang up and call KPUB directly,” said Allison Bueché, KPUB Director of Customer & Community Relations. “The way to protect yourself is simple. Never give out personal or financial information over the phone.”
One of the easiest ways to identify a scam is to distinguish between solicited and unsolicited contact. Scammers will contact a customer and claim to be a KPUB employee. The scammer may then threaten to disconnect their service if a payment is not made immediately or within a short period of time. Scammers may also become angry or irritated with the customer if the payment is not made.
Another tactic scammers commonly use is requesting a customer to purchase a pre-paid debit or credit card. On rare occasions, the scammer may ask for a money wire or money order.
Caller ID Scams
Scammers are extremely smart and can even change the caller ID on your device to pose as KPUB. The caller ID can be manipulated to seem as if they are a reputable number or business.
Scammers may even go door-to-door to your home or business to collect a payment to avoid electricity shut-offs. Never make a payment to someone at your home or business. If you feel a scammer has approached you regarding your KPUB bill, report the incident immediately.
Solar Energy Scams
As an electric utility company, many businesses will claim to be affiliated with KPUB. However, KPUB has no relationship or affiliation with solar energy companies.
Please note that while KPUB does not sell, install or maintain solar systems, we should still be one of your first contacts when considering a solar system investment. As your community-owned, not-for-profit electric utility company, KPUB is here to be your source for your energy investment decisions and information. We’re here to help you ask the right questions and help you determine if going solar is the right investment for you.
Energy Saving Scams
Energy-saving scams in exchange for cash at your home or business are not offered by KPUB or third-party companies partnered with KPUB. If someone posing as a KPUB employee or affiliate offers an energy audit in exchange for cash or another form of payment, report the incident to KPUB.
Suspect a Scammer? Here’s what to do.
Never give out personal, financial or electric account information if someone contacts you demanding payment.
Hang up if you suspect you are talking to a scammer & call KPUB directly at 830.257.3050. Do not ever use a call-back number provided by an unknown caller.
Report any suspicious phone calls or visits to your home by someone posing as a KPUB employee to KPUB and law enforcement authorities. You can also report it online to the Federal Trade Commission at reportfraud.ftc.gov. Reporting these incidents helps to prevent future scams in our community.
The Kerrville Public Utility Board (KPUB) was acquired by the City of Kerrville in 1987. KPUB serves approximately 23,900 customers throughout a 146-square-mile service area, including Kerrville, Center Point, Ingram, Hunt, and surrounding areas in Kerr County.
KPUB is overseen by a five-member board of trustees who serve without compensation and who are responsible to the City of Kerrville for the management and control of the system. KPUB is a responsive and efficient locally-owned provider of reliable, high-quality utility service at the lowest responsible price.
KPUB Board of Trustee Members: Chairman, Mark Cowden; Vice Chairman, Larry Howard; Secretary, Bill Thomas; Treasurer, Glenn Andrew; and Mayor of Kerrville, Judy Eychner.