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ARTESIA — Xcel Energy is warning customers of an ongoing telephone scam in New Mexico and Texas.

In the scam, the caller claims to be a representative of Xcel and informs the customer they are behind on their payments.

The scammer states Xcel crews are “on their way” to shut off electrical service to the home or business unless payment is made immediately.

Some scammers then ask the customer to provide payment information over the phone. Others provide a number for customers to call back with payment information.Upon calling the number, a recorded greeting indicates the customer has reached Xcel Energy.

Xcel reminds customers who are behind on their bills that they will receive a disconnect notice by mail first.

Customers who have not received a disconnect notice by mail who receive a phone call about a past-due bill are asked to hang up and dial 1-800-895-4999 to check the status of their account.

If a past-due balance exists, Xcel agents will advise customers on the appropriate methods of making payment.

More information on avoiding scams is available at connect.xcelenergy.com/scams.