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Southern Pioneer, authorities warn of collection scam in the Liberal area PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 06 April 2011 14:28

• Special to the Leader & Times
Scammers have attempted to defraud utility consumers by claiming to collect funds to help individuals and families pay their utility bills. 
Southern Pioneer consumers in the Liberal area were solicited over the past week by an individual who claimed to have gained information regarding account balances from Southern Pioneer and the City of Liberal. This individual declared the funds collected would go toward helping families and individuals whom were having financial difficulties and weren’t able to pay their electric bills. 
Southern Pioneer consumers in the Liberal area were solicited over the past week by an individual who claimed to have a list of families and individuals whom were having financial difficulties. Supposedly, the funds collected would go directly to helping those in need. 
“Please use good judgment,” says CEO Steve Epperson. “Unfortunately, there are individuals who will attempt to take advantage of good hearted, generous people. We want you to be protected.”
Southern Pioneer Electric will NEVER send unidentified representatives to your home to collect funds for others. All Southern Pioneer Electric employees will be in company marked vehicles and be able to show identification. If you receive a suspicious call or visit from someone claiming to represent Southern Pioneer Electric, contact our office by calling 624-7433. 
SPECO consumer’s information is kept confidential. Consumer information is not ever shared with third party companies or individuals. SPECO uses the information you give us solely for the purpose of providing you with electric service. It is our policy not to release or sell member information to any third parties for any reason. 
Southern Pioneer Electric Company and police are advising residents who receive a solicitation from the company to refuse to provide funds or access to funds. Citizens who believe they have been a victim of this scam, or any other scam, are urged to call the Liberal Police Department at 626-0141. If residents have a question about a solicitation from an unknown company, they should get the name of the business and a contact number. They should then call the Better Business Bureau at (800) 525-1447 to verify that the business is legitimate and in good standing, according to officials. 
Southern Pioneer Electric Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Pioneer Electric Cooperative, is headquartered out of Ulysses, Kansas. Southern Pioneer Electric Company has local offices in Liberal and Medicine Lodge. Southern Pioneer Electric Company serves approximately 17,200 customers and operates in 10 counties and 34 communities. Southern Pioneer Electric Company’s service territory stretches east from Liberal to Medicine Lodge and north to Pratt and back west to Greensburg, Kansas. Southern Pioneer Electric Company is dedicated to providing customers with safe and reliable electric service. For more information, visit http://www.southernpioneer.net. 

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The High Plains Daily Leader and Southwest Daily Times are published Sunday through Friday and reaches homes throughout the Liberal, Kansas retail trade zone. The Leader & Times is the official newspaper of Seward County, USD No. 480, USD No. 483 and the cities of Liberal and Kismet.  The Leader & Times is a member of the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Press Association and the Associated Press.

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