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Xcel Energy warns of new customer scam

July 31, 2012

AMARILLO, Texas – Xcel Energy has received numerous reports about a new scam targeting customers in the Texas-New Mexico area.
Some customers have been contacted by callers claiming to represent Xcel Energy, indicating the customers’ electric service is soon to be disconnected. The caller then tells customers to make their utility payments by purchasing a Green Dot pre-pay VISA card at a local drug or convenience store.
When customers purchase the card and call the phone number provided by the scammer, they are then directed to another phone number where the card information is obtained and the cash value is removed from the card. Additionally, the card customers purchase at stores is only a temporary card, so when they provide their information, the permanent card may be registered in another name and redirected.
This scam typically targets Hispanic customers and is perpetrated by callers who may speak Spanish.
Xcel Energy is communicating the following advice in the wake of this scam:
Any time customers are unsure if they’ve been contacted about their accounts or payments by Xcel Energy, call us at 1-800-894-4999 to verify that we sent the email or letter or made the phone call.
We do not recommend a specific payment method or type. We offer a variety of payment options so customers can select the one that best suits them.
Customers who may need assistance paying their bill should call us at 1-800-895-4999.
Customers can find more information on our website about protecting their personal information and about phone and e-mail scams.
Customers who have been impacted by this scam should report it to their local police department.
Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL) is a major U.S. electricity and natural gas company with regulated operations in eight Western and Midwestern states. 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. Xcel Energy’s headquarters are located in Minneapolis. More information is available at www.xcelenergy.com.

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