Here’s How to Protect Yourself from Scammers Posing as Xcel Energy
XCEL ENERGY SCAMS ARE HAPPENING IN OUR AREA
Has Xcel Energy recently called you about a past due bill? Because your bill is passed due, you are going to have your service disconnected unless you wire the funds to them within 30 minutes?
Yes. This phone call is going around to people in our area, and it is totally a SCAM. Not only are these people making calls, they are also sending emails, and showing at your door in person, ready to collect your passed due amount on the spot.
HOW TO SPOT AN XCEL ENERGY SCAM
If you are someone that keeps up with making sure your bills are paid monthly, you'll probably figure out that this is a scam, once they say a few key things that should tip you off.
- The first thing that might tip you off, is someone calling you that you may have difficulty understanding. This happened to a friend of mine recently. She said she could barely understand the person that was calling. It made her think that it was Xcel Energy using an overseas calling center for their collection efforts.
- The second thing that should tip you off, is the fact that they are threatening to disconnect you unless you pay within 30 minutes by wire. They make it sound legit, as they give you your address information, and the obviously have your phone number as most of the time they are calling you.
HOW TO STAY SAFE AND PROTECT YOUR CREDIT
Xcel Energy is aware of this scam happening in our community. If you go to their website, they offer some tips for you to stay safe.
Before you ever give your information to the person who is calling, hang up, and contact Xcel Customer Service yourself. You can check your account status online, without having anyone on the phone, and you can call Customer Support at 800.895.4999, or call Business Support at 800.481.4700 for the Business Solutions Center.
They will be able to give you the facts about your account.
IF YOU'VE BECOME A VICTIM
Maybe this story is reaching you after the fact. Maybe you have been behind in your bills, and you just thought that this was the last straw, so you pulled all the funds you had together and paid the scammers. Now what do you do?
Xcel Energy would like you to inform them of your experience. The information they receive will be shared with federal investigators, to aid in a possible criminal investigation. You should also contact local authorities and file a criminal complaint. If we don't do something to stop it, other people will also fall victim.
IDENTITY THEFT PROTECTION
Now you may have an even more serious problem. If you've given the scammers your personal information, you should also be checking your credit report and put a FRAUD ALERT on your credit file and maybe even a SECURITY FREEZE.