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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. – Xcel Energy is warning customers of increased incidences of scams targeting business and residential customers. Since January, more than 400 scams have been reported in the company’s Upper Midwest territory, including a few in western Wisconsin. The scams typically involve attempts to illegally obtain payments for fictitious utility bills. Individuals impersonating Xcel Energy employees or collection agency personnel are using a variety of techniques to gain access to customers’ funds, usually by indicating a customer has an outstanding debt and is about to lose service:
• The impersonator directs the customer to go to a local retailer and purchase a pre-paid cash card. The impersonator then persuades the customer to provide the card number over the phone.
• Impersonator requests payments over the phone by credit card or personal check.
• Impersonator provides a fake employee name and/or a fake ID number.
Xcel Energy reminds customers to only use authorized methods to pay their bill – not a pre-paid cash card. Credit card numbers and any personal information should not be provided to suspicious callers. Affected customers should call Xcel Energy customer services at 1-800-895-4999 and report any scamming incident to their local police departments.
Xcel Energy is also recommending that if a customer has given credit card information over the phone to someone posing as an Xcel Energy employee, the customer should call his or her credit card company and follow the credit card company’s recommendations.
For more information visit: “Protect your Information” .
About Xcel Energy
Xcel Energy is a major U.S. electricity and natural gas company, with retail operations in eight Western and Midwestern states, including Wisconsin. Xcel Energy provides a comprehensive portfolio of energy-related products and services to 3.4 million electricity customers and 1.9 million natural gas customers through its regulated operating companies. Company headquarters are located in Minneapolis, and Wisconsin-Michigan operating company headquarters are located in Eau Claire, Wis. For more information about Xcel Energy visit www.xcelenergy.com.
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