Scams targeting Xcel customers increase significantly in just on - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Scams targeting Xcel customers increase significantly in just one year

Amarillo, TX - Scams across our area targeting Xcel customers have risen significantly in just one year.

Wes Reeves says Xcel is cautioning customers to protect themselves and their personal information from this threat. "We have seen a large increase of reports of people being scammed or the attempts of being scammed. If you look at the first 4 to 5 months of the year and look at the same time period last year it is roughly a thousand- percent increase."

Scammers are tricking customers into providing payment, usually over the phone and now scams are becoming more believable because of technology. "They say things like we are located at an office at a certain address and that sounds like a legitimate address. Or their number might come over as Xcel Energy. The scammers have become sophisticated enough to spoof other people's numbers and so there are a lot of things they can do to convince you that they are indeed the company that they say they are"

NewsChannel 10 has already reported to you for the past couple of months the primary target for scams around our area remains local small business owners. "These area flower shops for instance were getting ready for Mother's Day and we had some reports from shops calling saying people calling threatening to turn their power out. So I think they are targeting businesses that are really busy and they are targeting hours when they are really busy."

Xcel says they would never contact a customer that way. If someone is behind on their bill they will get a written disconnect notice first. "We can't stress this enough, don't give financial information over the phone. Unless you are 100-percent certain who you are talking to."

Xcel says if you get a call from someone saying they are Xcel and you owe money, most likely it is not them. They say the best thing to do is hang up and call Xcel's main information number to verify your account.

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