DENVER (CBS4) – Xcel Energy has released a warning that scammers are pretending to be Xcel workers as they try to steal money from customers.
There are a number of lines the crooks are giving people. They tell customers they are late on their payments, or we need to repair a gas meter. Enough people have been falling for the scam the company wanted to issue the warning.
“There have been some amounts into the thousands,” Mark Stutz with Xcel Energy said.
Instead of serving, they’re stealing. Xcel says they have seen the scam before.
“Just in the month of January we’ve had almost as many as we had in half a year of 2012,” Stutz said.
Most people have gotten a call saying they’re late on their payment. For fear of being left in the cold, some have let their guard down.
“What they’re trying to do is get a bank routing number from you, or a credit card number. Or in a lot of cases they’re having you get a pre-paid card and having you give that number over the phone,” Stutz said.
Others have been more brazen, showing up at people’s home’s with fake IDs or something official looking, such as a safety vest.
“They will come and say your meter is broken, you need to give us cash to fix the equipment right now. That’s just not something we do,” Stutz said.
Xcel says don’t give them any money and don’t be afraid to turn the person away or get off the phone. Instead, make sure to call Xcel and explain what happened, and have them confirm it’s really their crews calling or visiting.
“We just want to make sure the customer understands, make sure you’re dealing with us.”
Xcel also says if someone is at a house or calls and gives a phone number or business card, don’t call that number to confirm it’s Xcel. The real number is (800) 895-4999.