Xcel Energy reports scammer knocked on south Denver customer's door

DENVER - Xcel Energy is reporting strategies usually used in phone or Internet scams were attempted by a crook outside a Denver customer's home Tuesday morning.

A white man went to a home in the 2600 block of South Osceola Street around 7 a.m., a customer told the utility.

"The new twist is showing up at the door," but Xcel spokesman Mark Stutz said the reported scam involved "a lot of the same tricks."

The man claimed he needed immediate payment through cash or a prepaid debit card, the go-to method of the phone scams. The cards can be loaded with funds at a grocery or convenience store. Once the crooks have the card's number, the victims have no recourse to track the money.

He threatened to cut the customer's power if payment was not made immediately.

"It's hard to know why they selected that particular address," Stutz said.

While Stutz was only aware of one instance of this scam being attempted in-person on Tuesday, he said it was likely other attempts were made.

Xcel says customers reported over 1,800 scams during the first quarter of 2014. During the same quarter of 2013, there were only 181 reports.

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