Identifying Westar employees and scam phone calls
Identifying Westar employees
We've received several reports of impostors claiming to be Westar Energy employees. All Westar Energy employees carry company identification and will readily show it if asked. Many employees also wear shirts or caps bearing the Westar Energy logo. When in doubt, ask to see Westar Energy employee identification. If someone appears suspicious, call us at 800-383-1183, or call local law enforcement.
Common reasons Westar Energy is in your neighborhood:
- Monthly meter reading (details below).
- Restoring service during power outage.
- Collection activities before disconnecting service for non-payment.
- Tree trimming (contractors, see schedule)
- Meter upgrade.
The majority of meters are read monthly to record customer usage. Meter readers operate on a set schedule. To find out when a Westar meter reader will be by to read your meter each month, sign in to my electric account and click on "view meter schedule." The scheduled read date is generally the same day that your current statement is due.
- Westar Energy attempts to make contact with customers before service is disconnected.
- When an account is past-due, we mail a disconnect notice along with the current statement. The disconnect notice indicates the date payment needs to be received to avoid interruption of service. From when the disconnect notice is sent, it is approximately 10 business days until we will disconnect service.
- A few days before service is scheduled to be disconnected, we will place a collection call. The number that shows up on caller ID will be 800-383-1183. If you are concerned the call is not legitimate, please hang up and dial 800-383-1183.
- The service person in the field will knock on the door and attempt to collect before physically disconnecting service. Service persons generally will not enter the home. Payment should be made to Westar Energy. Company employees wear a shirt with the Westar logo, oftentimes have a hard hat, and will not hesitate to show company identification.
Scam phone calls
Be on the alert for fraudulent calls claiming to be Westar employees. If you receive a suspicious call, hang up and call Westar at 800-383-1183. Suspicious activity should also be reported to local law enforcement.
Several customers have contacted us after receiving suspicious calls. In most cases, the caller claims to be a Westar Energy customer service representative and tries to get the customer to provide credit card information or other personal information, telling the customer a check has bounced or he/she has a past-due bill. In some cases, the caller says that the customer's meter is defective or may catch fire.
Westar agents can provide a name and extension if requested. For past-due accounts, calls from Westar Energy requesting payment are never made the same day as the disconnection.
Scammers Can Use Fake Caller ID
Scammers are now able to use phoney caller ID numbers to target consumers. Using phoney caller ID services to spoof numbers, scammers are able to convince victims they are receiving a call from the company calling. Few people think that names and phone numbers appearing on their caller ID screens are not genuine.
Unfortunately, all scammers need is Internet access and a few dollars to find a number of services that can supply fake caller ID numbers.
Identity thieves who want to collect information such as your bank account or other financial account numbers, social security number, date of birth or mother's maiden name, sometimes use caller ID spoofing to make it appear they are calling from your bank, credit card company, or even a government agency.
Tips to avoid being scammed:
- Don't assume the information on your caller ID is always accurate.
- Never give out personal/financial information over the phone unless you know for a fact whom you are dealing with.
- Don't hesitate to hang up the phone and call us at 800-383-1183.
Pre-paid debit card scam
We've heard reports of scammers calling and threatening to disconnect service if a customer does not purchase a pre-paid card and call back with card information. Pre-paid debit cards or Green Dot reloadable debit cards are a preferred money-moving method for scammers. Westar will never ask a customer to purchase a pre-paid debit card to pay for service. Westar's disconnect process is outlined at the bottom of this page.
Email Scam Targeting Utility Customers
Utility customers around the country are being targeted in a scam that involves fake electricity bills being emailed that say payment is due to their utility immediately.
In the event you receive a suspicious email, please keep in mind:
- Westar does not email you with threats to pay your account. Customers who are behind on their electric bills receive written notices of possible disconnection and how to prevent it.
- Monthly email reminders do not contain specific bill information. The only time we email an actual statement is upon customer request.
- Delete emails from utilities that are not your service provider.
- Delete suspicious emails that require immediate action or ask to verify personal information.