Dec 16, 2022

Sheriff: Kansas man lost nearly $1,500 in utility phone scam

Posted Dec 16, 2022 5:56 PM

Salina Post

SALINE COUNTY —A Kansas man who got caught up in a utility phone scam earlier this week is out nearly $1,500.

On Wednesday, the 49-year-old Saline County man reported he received a call from someone claiming to be with Evergy. The recorded call claimed that Evergy was on the way to disconnect service at a property the man owns in Falun as it was 60 days past due, according to Saline County Sheriff Roger Soldan.

The man was directed to stay on the line to talk with an Evergy representative. The man did so, as his son lives at the property and the man thought that, perhaps, his son had not paid the bill.

A person claiming to be an Evergy representative got on the call and told the man to download the Zelle app to make the $498.72 payment. Soldan said the man did so but was told the payment did not go through.

The man was then told to download the Venmo app to make the payment. He did so and tried it twice, as the first time supposedly didn't work.

In reality, the man paid the scammers $498.72 three times, Soldan said.

According to the Evergy website, "calls from Evergy requesting payment are never made the same day as the disconnection."

Additionally, Kansas' Cold Weather Rule is in effect. The Cold Weather Rule, designed to help Kansans who are behind on their utility payments avoid disconnection during the winter months, is in effect through March 31.