MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Xcel Energy is warning its customers of a phone scam that targets Spanish-speaking customers and tricks them into buying a pre-pay credit card, and, in a sense, handing it over to the scammers.
In a press release Tuesday, Xcel said that some of its customers were told by scam artists that their electric service would be cut unless they paid their bills by purchasing a Green Dot pre-pay Visa card at a local store.
When customers did purchase that card and call the provided number, they were directed to another number which took their card information and removed a cash value from the card. Those pre-pay cards expire, but the scammers, in using the provided card information, are able to make permanent cards in another name and redirect them.
Xcel said the scam seems to target Hispanic customers.
If you think you’ve been victimized by this scam, call police, Xcel said.
If you have utility payment questions, call Xcel at 1-800-895-4999.