Lubbock residents can avoid a simple scam just by hanging up their phone.

A recent press release from Xcel Energy highlights one of the more prolific scams used by criminals to trick people into turning over sensitive personal information and even banking information.

According to Xcel, a con artist will call a customer claiming to be a representative with a local utility company and tell them that their account is past due. And unless the customer pays immediately (usually by purchasing a pre-paid debit or credit card), a crucial service to their home will be disconnected. Typically, the scammer provides instructions to call them back to make the payment.

To make the call seem legit, the criminal may even use a caller ID spoofer to make it appear like the call is really coming from the utility company.

Xcel says other times, scammers tell people that they've overpaid a bill and are due for a refund. This can trick people into giving the scammer their bank account information.

The company urges people to never provide personal details or banking information if they receive a call that raises these red flags.

If you believe you've received one of these calls from a person claiming to be from Xcel, you can contact the Xcel Energy Customer Service number at 1-800-895-4999. If you've been the victim of a scam, you can contact the Lubbock Police Department: (806) 775-2865.

[via Everything Lubbock]

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