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MINNEAPOLIS – As part of an ongoing scam awareness effort, Xcel Energy officials are cautioning customers to protect themselves from utility scams during the holiday season. Scammers target victims during busy hours to increase pressure to pay, or have their service turned off.
“During this busy time of year, scammers are ready to take advantage of our customers, and while we cannot stop the scam calls, we can help stop scams from being successful,” said Laura McCarten, Xcel Energy regional vice president. “We want to warn our customers, especially small businesses, to stay alert for suspicious phone calls demanding immediate payment.
“If you think that you are being targeted by a scammer, simply end the conversation and call us directly to verify your account status.”
To check the status of their account or report a scam, business customers should contact Xcel Energy’s Business Solutions Center at 1-800- 481-4700, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Residential customers can call our residential customer service 24/7 line at 1-800-895- 4999. Businesses may also call that number during evening hours or on weekends.
Scammers have tried various ways to trick Xcel Energy customers into providing payment, usually over the phone. They have been known to:
• Tell intended victims their account is past due and threaten to turn off their power if they do not make a payment right away.
• Require victims to pay using a pre-paid debit card, such as a Green Dot card.
• Manipulate caller ID to display a fake number, which may actually be Xcel Energy’s number. This is called “spoofing.”
Scammers have targeted all classes of customers, but particularly small businesses such as restaurants. Business customers account for approximately two-thirds of all scams reported to Read More ...
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