AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Xcel Energy released information on potential scammers in the area in which people who want to start a new utility find a number online that connects them to scammers instead of Xcel.

Xcel explained that individuals who wish to start new electric or natural gas services with Xcel should call customer service at 1-800-895-4999 to avoid potential scammers.

Upon calling the scam number, Xcel noted that customers are asked to pay money up front and may be asked to provide a social security number and credit card information. In addition, Xcel said that scammers may call Xcel Energy and pose as the customer to start a new service.

Xcel reminded the community that the company does not charge customers to complete transaction and any starting service fees will appear on the customer’s next bill. Customers are encouraged by Xcel to hang up and contact the company if asked to pay up front to complete a transaction.

Contact the customer service number to report potential scammers and Xcel will share the information with investigators to assist in a criminal investigation.

Xcel released some warning signs for customers:

  • Customers should be very suspicious if a caller requires a single form of payment, such as requiring the use of a prepaid debit card. Xcel Energy offers many options for payment and will never ask or require a customer with a past due account to purchase a prepaid debit card to avoid disconnection.
  • Xcel Energy customers will initially be contacted by U.S. mail about past due bills, not over the phone. You will also be sent a disconnection notice in writing before your power is turned off.
  • Customers should never wire money, provide bank card numbers, and social security numbers to an unverified source.

For more information visit the Xcel Energy website.