Have you received suspicious phone calls from someone claiming you are behind on payments with Xcel Energy? Some around Western Colorado have. Be on the lookout for this scam.

I was contacted yesterday by a Western Colorado business. They had received a call from someone claiming to be with Xcel. The business was informed their power would be shut off in 45 minutes if they didn't contact Xcel at a 612 number and pay up on a debt.

The business contacted Xcel immediately to check the validity of this call. It was, obviously, very much a scam.

Unfortunately, one local family has fallen victim to this one. They followed the caller's instruction and obtained a prepaid debit card. They called the 612 number and provided the card's number and PIN.

In both cases, the caller never provided details, addresses, or account numbers.

Be on the lookout for this one. The thought of having your power shut off is enough to get your attention. It goes without saying, though, a utility company would not instruct you to get a prepaid card and share the info.

Keep your eyes and ears open, Western Colorado, and don't get burned by this one. Scams are increasing in numbers daily. They're getting sneakier and sneakier all the time. Even a slight degree of caution goes a long way.