Xcel Energy warns customers about billing scam

Xcel Energy is warning customers of an apparent national scam targeting utility customers that involves attempts to obtain Social Security numbers and bank routing numbers.The scam claims that the federal government is providing credits or applying payments to utility bills. Customers are being told they can make a utility payment by using a bank routing number that is supplied by the scam artists. After the scammers obtain the victims’ personal information, customers are given a phony bank routing number to pay their bills.The scam is being spread via telephone, Twitter and texting. Customers in some states also have reported receiving fliers with similar information.Customers should only use authorized methods and legitimate banking information to pay their bills. Credit card numbers and any personal information should not be provided to suspicious callers.Affected customers should call Xcel Energy customer service at 1-800-895-4999 and report the incident to their local police departments.Xcel Energy is also advising 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.