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Kansas utility warns of fraudulent phone calls

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- Westar Energy says it has received several reports from customers of fraudulent calls from scammers posing as employees of the Topeka-based electric utility.

The company says the scammers are targeting Spanish-speaking customers and businesses.

In most cases, the caller claims to be a customer service representative and says the customer's check has bounced or a bill is overdue, then asks for credit card information or other personal data.

Scammers also have claimed a customer's meter is defective and may catch fire. The caller then says there's a repair fee and asks the customer to obtain a prepaid money card.

The utility says legitimate calls from Westar Energy should show 800-383-1183 and Westar Energy on caller ID. Also, agents should always be able to provide their names and extensions.