Phone scammers posing as Xcel Energy

FRUITA, Colo. (KKCO) - Law enforcement is warning of a sophisticated scam that uses utility companies as a cover.

KKCO 11 News spoke with the owner of an auto repair shop in Fruita who fell victim to this scam last summer. Robin Staton received a call from Xcel’s phone number saying she was late on her bill and was going to have her power turned off in the next few hours. They said a prepaid cash card would be the fastest way to fix this issue… $500 later, Robin learns that she had been scammed.

“We were able to get to a legitimate Xcel person and they looked at the business account and there was no bill, there was no late fee, there was no payment, no nothing. That’s when they told us that it was not them at all," says Robin.

Because she used a prepaid cash card, Robin wasn’t able to get the money back. She says she wants to warn others about this sophisticated scam.

The scammers spoofed Xcel’s number. Robin says the call got disconnected at one point and had to call back; the greeting and even the music were the same as Xcel’s.

Law enforcement says these calls can happen at any time of the night or day but are more prevalent in the evenings or on weekends when you can’t easily verify the legitimacy of them.