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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City Power & Light is warning customers it is seeing a dramatic increase in the number of scams directed at customers.

The electric company said Wednesday that it has tracked 326 attempted utility collection call scams in the first quarter this year. That’s a 76 percent increase from 185 similar calls last year.

KCP&L officials say the scams generally involve someone posing as a KCP&L employee telling a customer a bill is past due and threatening to disconnect service if payment isn’t made immediately. Generally, customers are told to buy prepaid cards, then call back and give the caller the card’s number and PIN.

The utility says it does call customers but employees will never demand immediate payment or the purchase of a prepaid card.