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Scam alerts

Don't be fooled: Scammers are savvier than ever, and everyone is a target.

Consumers are losing more money to scams than ever before—nearly $9 billion last year. That’s a mighty wallop to our wallets. And no one is immune. The Better Business Bureau reported that 70% of people scammed are under age 45 and a vast majority have college degrees. Unfortunately, posing as your utility company is one of the many ways scammers can manipulate you. Protect yourself and your finances by knowing these common utility service scams.
Here's how it works

The most prevalent utility scam tactics are:

Phony Phone Call, Email or Text

A fake representative calls, emails, or texts you, pretending to be from your utility company, urgently requesting payment so you can retain service. They demand immediate payment using a prepaid debit or gift card, money order or wire transfer. They may also request bank and/or credit card information to “verify” an account. The call or text may appear to come from your utility company, even if it isn’t legitimate.

Specifically, in our service region, the call appears to be coming from Holy Cross Energy or Xcel Energy, claiming to be the parent company of Holy Cross Energy (HCE). HCE is a member-owned co-op. It does not have any parent company. Xcel Energy is a separate for-profit company. Do not engage with these calls. They are a scam.

HCE will always notify you in writing of past due payments and any interruptions in service due to non-payment and provide secure payment methods. We will never threaten, harass, or intimidate you. If you have any questions about your bill, please call member services at 970.945.5491.

Fake jobs at legitimate employers

Finding a good job can be tough. Con artists play into desperation. To trick people looking for honest work, scammers advertise where real employers and job placement firms do. They also make enthusiastic promises about your chances of employment. Virtually all of them ask you to pay them for their services before you get a job. If you have to pay, it’s probably a scam.

Being an exceptional employer of choice in our region is part of our mission. You can find real jobs with Holy Cross Energy on our careers page.

Door-to-door Deception

A person or people show up in person at your home or business, without an appointment, pretending to be from your utility company. They say there is a problem or danger and ask to inspect you electrical wiring, gas lines, furnace, etc. They may appear to be wearing official uniforms or flash official-looking badges. Once inside your home they steal any valuables they can. Or they offer (bogus) discounted prices for products or services related to your utility services.

HCE will notify you in advance if our crew members need to access your property or home. If anyone shows up unexpectedly claiming to need access to your home, call us directly to confirm and double check their credentials before letting them into your home.

Refund Scams

You may receive a phone call or an email claiming that you have overpaid a utility bill and offering to assist you in getting a refund. In offering to “help” you claim your refund, they help themself to your personal and financial information. Do not give it to them. 

Identity Theft

Like other phishing scams involving bank account or credit cards, this scam involves an unsolicited email claiming some problem with your utility bill and directing you to another website to review the issue.  At that website, which probably looks like a legitimate utility website, you are directed to supply personal and financial information. Once scammers obtain your personal and financial information, they can use it limitlessly, including ordering phone or utility service in your name (but not at your address). They use the service; you’re stuck with the bill.

Federal “Assistance” Programs

Someone calls or emails you suggesting that you might be eligible for assistance with your home energy bills through some vague federal government program. They will attempt to collect personal and financial information to see if you qualify. Then they use your person information for their financial gain.

If you need help paying your bill, use our secure and legitimate options at Payment Assistance, or call member services at 970.945.5491 to discuss options.

What you can do
  • Watch for red flags and known scams such as those listed above.
  • Notice urgency. Threats to cut service immediately or attempts to intimidate or rush you into taking action are key signs it’s a scam.
  • Don’t give out or confirm your financial or personal information including passwords or account numbers to someone who calls.
  • Be suspicious of unusual payment requests including requesting payment in an unconventional way such as pre-paid debit or gift card, or through conventional payment method such as credit card or check but through a pre-paid debit or gift card, or requesting money order or wire transfer.
  • Never pay someone who calls out of the blue, even if the name or number on the caller ID looks legit.
  • Don’t wire money or send money using a reloadable card.
  • Report suspicious activities to your local police station, our member services via 970.945.5491 or, and the Federal Communications Commission.