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      Xcel customers are the target of scams, again

      X cel Energy has received several reports of a new scam targeted at Hispanic customers by scam artists who may speak Spanish.

      Customers who have been contacted by the callers claiming to represent Xcel, telling the customer that their electric service is to disconnected. The customers are told to make their utility payments by purchasing a Green Dot pre-pay VISA card at local convenience stores.

      Scam callers tell the customer that after purchasing the card to call a phone number provided, then directions take the caller through a series numbers and permissions. This allows the scammer to know the card information and remove the cash value deposited on the card.

      Since the card is only a temporary card, the information provided can be used again the remove any additional cash put back on the card.

      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.