Editor's Note: The following was released by the Richfield Public Safety Department.
At least one Richfield resident was targeted by a male claiming to work for Xcel Energy. The caller ID on her phone showed Xcel Energy. However, no phone number was listed. The caller likely used a Caller ID Spoof Card in order to fool his victims. The caller informed the resident that she was delinquent on her bill and that she needed to pay with a credit card to avoid having her power shut off the next day.
The intended victim knew it was a scam because she uses auto pay and she confirmed online that her account was paid up to date. She was also suspicious because he identified himself as “Mark Anderson” and called on a Saturday. Richfield PD confirmed with Xcel Energy Security that bill collectors would not be calling on Saturday. Also, residents should be aware of the Cold Weather Rule. MN Statutes, Chapter 216B govern disconnection policies of residential heating sources from October 15 through April 15.
In another scam targeting Xcel Energy customers, a phony customer service agent contacts customers telling them that his or her monthly electricity payment has been received but their check was not signed. Customers are then asked for a credit card number to pay the bill. Investigators speculate that seniors may be a primary target because of their propensity to make payments by check.
If any customers have been victimized by either of these scams, they should contact their credit card company immediately.
Xcel Energy’s security team works with its customer service department to detect and stop such illegal activity and is currently working with law enforcement agents in the state from which these calls may have originated to put an end to this activity.
If customers have any questions or concerns regarding the Xcel Energy’s bill payment policy, they can call 1-800-895-4999.