11 Call For Action Alert: Scammers Claim Utility Bill Overdue

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Crooks are going after local businesses, pretending to be with a utility company to scam them out of money.

Mary Feldmann is the manager of Vintages Wine and Spirits in downtown Colorado Springs.

A man called her at work and claimed to be with Xcel Energy.

The caller said the store owner hadn't paid the bill, so the power was going to be turned off immediately.

He demanded Feldmann give him her credit card number to pay the nearly $500 balance.

"It made me concerned and want to do something, want to make it right. I was like, how do I fix this," said Feldmann.

Feldmann tells 11 News the business doesn't even use Xcel Energy, but the scammer was so convincing that she panicked in that moment and almost gave him the money.

11 News spoke with officials at Xcel Energy and Colorado Springs Utilities, and both say they never call and threaten customers, demanding payment.

If a customer is on the verge of having their power shut off, they will have received multiple alerts in the mail.

If you get one of these calls, hang up and call your utility company to verify. Make sure to call the number on your statement, and not the number the scammer gives you on the phone.

Also, report the scam to your utility company.

Feldmann has her own advice for anyone who receives one of these calls.

"Definitely do your research, think about it, follow through, ask for the phone number, ask for the invoice, ask for their name, let me call you back," said Feldmann.

We found out about this scam from a news tip. If you have something you would like us to check out, make an 11 Call for Action by calling 719-457-8211.


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