KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Local business owners said they were the target of a brazen scam, but their intuition protected them from becoming victims.
Wooden Spoon owners Tina and Wayne Yake said they were in the middle of their breakfast rush hour when they received a call saying they needed to pay $489.65 to Kansas City Power and Light or their power would be cut off.
Tina said she knew she wasn’t behind on her utility bills and became suspicious. She grew even more wary when the caller explained her payment options.
“He said KCPL doesn’t accept checks, cash, or credit cards and that we would have to go to CVS or Walgreens to pick up a money scratcher and then I would have to call him back at a different number,” she said.
FOX 4′s Mary Pulley, along with Tina, called the number.
“Thank you for calling AEP Connections. This is Steven Johnson. How may I hope you?” they heard.
AEP is an electric company based out of Columbus, Ohio. They don’t provide service in Missouri or Kansas. When FOX 4′s Mary Pulley asked for Mr. Martinez, the man Tina was instructed to ask for, she was transferred. Martinez claimed to be part of KCPL, but couldn’t explain why someone answered the phone under AEP.
“I don’t know who told you that ma’am, but I’m with Kansas City collection department ma’am,” he said.
A Kansas City Power and Light spokesman said they do not ask for money over the phone. They urge anyone who thinks they’re the victim of a scam to call 1.888.471.5275 and report it.
A similar scam is circulating in Independence. Those suspicious of a scam are urged to call police.