LP&L warns Lubbock citizens of bill payment scam - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

LP&L warns Lubbock citizens of bill payment scam

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

Some KCBD viewers have reported receiving calls from people claiming to be LP&L representatives demanding payment for overdue bills.

Viewers say the person calling tells them they need to pay their bill or their electricity will be shut off. But we spoke with LP&L and they say that's not how they operate.

"It will just be a very basic past due notice. It will be an automated call and they will tell you exactly how much is owed on your payment. They will also direct you to how you can pay that bill," said LP&L spokesman Matt Rose.

He says people have 21 days from the time they are billed to make a payment to LP&L. If they don't, on the 23rd day, a bill is generated along with an automated phone call. There are four different kinds of calls: past due reminder, payment arrangement reminder, final bill notice and return item notice. That call comes from 775-2509 and all other numbers saying they are LP&L should be ignored.

Rose says they called 31,000 customers in June.

"I know that just this year several other municipally-owned utilities have had this same sort of issue and we take it very seriously," he said. "There will never be an instance where somebody will receive an automated call that will demand payment right then and there over the phone. They're going to direct you to that 775-3409 number because that's where all payments are processed over the phone."

There is one instance when LP&L has a live person call. If you have paid your bill on time for twelve consecutive months and suddenly end up late, LP&L may have a person call and ask why you are behind.

"We are going to make every effort that we can to help protect you, the customer and get you all the information you need. We never get to a point where we're going to have a disconnect because nobody, including us, wants that to happen," he said.

We also spoke with the Better Business Bureau of the South Plains about the scam. President and CEO Greg Linder says they have received complaints about this before. He advises people to always verify the call first.

If there's actually a debt that you owe, LP&L will tell you the exact amount. Linder says never give your personal information over the phone without confirmation that you are speaking with an LP&L representative.

Copyright 2013 KCBD. All rights reserved.

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