Xcel Energy warns phone scam involving utility bills

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KREX) — Scammers are putting you on their holiday wish list. These criminals use all kinds of schemes to tempt you to fall into their trap, whether it’s online fraud, phone calls, or even using the postal service.

One scam happening right now in the Grand Valley, involves phone calls from someone pretending to be an Xcel Energy representative. Once you answer the phone, they immediately threaten to turn off your power or send you false notices of late payments.

This scammer asks you to send a pre-paid credit card, or risk having your utilities shut off — something an actual Xcel representative says would never happen.

“They might even manipulate the caller I.D. so it looks like its from Xcel Energy. If you are in arrears on your payments, Xcel Energy will notify you via United States Postal Service,” Xcel Energy Area Manager Brad McCloud informs, “So if you are suspicious at any point, the customer should hang up and they should immediately one, notify the local authorities, they should also look to notify our customer service representative.”

Informing local law enforcement and the actual company scammers are impersonating can help stop scams like this from reoccurring. You may even help save a neighbor or family member from falling victim to the scam — but phone scams aren’t the *only tactic scammers are using, especially during the holiday season.

“Online shoppers are targeted during the holiday season, but unfortunately the GJPD sees scams all year long, not just during the holiday season,” Grand Junction Police Department’s Callie Berkson shares, “One of the most targeted demographics of scams is unfortunately our elderly population.”

Anyone can fall for a scam but, as GJPD reminds us, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Never give out any of your personal or banking information over the phone or without consulting GJPD — because once your money is transfered, it’s doubtful you’ll ever see it again.

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