The Kissimmee Utility Authority is warning customers to beware of an active utility scam that has already cost two residents $4,000.
Over a two-day span, officials say KUA received more than 25 reports from customers who were contacted by scammers through texts and phone calls. In each case, the customers were contacted by individuals through texts posing as the utility company and requesting a renewal payment to “prevent a potential service interruption.”
The scammers then send a bar code and instruct them to go to a gas station or dollar store and have it scanned. Authorities say the bar codes are linked to bank or PayPal accounts owned by the scammers that have names that might confuse victims.
“KUA will never require you to make a payment at a gas station or grocery store,” says the organization. “KUA utilizes QR codes for the purpose of outage reporting only. They are not used to collect payments.”
If contacted by a suspicious individual posing as a utility company, do not respond to the text or phone call and contact KUA directly at (407) 933-9800.