SAN ANTONIO – CPS Energy is warning its customers about a scam in which a caller demands payment or threatens to shut off service.

The energy company said it received an increase of 57% in customer-reported calls from August to September. It said that since Feb. 1, customers have been conned out of $38,000 by scammers.

The company said the callers have ordered customers to pay within 30 minutes or risk getting their power shut off.

CPS Energy said it does not ask customers for money nor does it threaten to disconnect service over the phone.

CPS offered the following tips to determine if a call is a scam:

  • Caller threatens to cut off power. Scam artists demand quick action as a scare tactic.

  • Caller asks customer to purchase any prepaid card to make payment. Once the imposter gets the card’s PIN or security number, it’s like wiring money. The funds cannot be recovered.

  • Caller sends customer to CVS Pharmacy/Office Depot/Walgreens to make a payment.

  • Caller refuses option to pay at H-E-B, claims it takes 24 hours to receive payment.

  • Caller claims recent payment was not received or was misapplied.

  • Caller gives customer 30 minutes to pay or get shut-off.

  • Caller claims someone from CPS Energy is on the way to turn power off.

  • Caller asks customer for banking information.

  • Caller asks customer for their account number.

  • Caller supplies customer with an account number to apply a payment.

  • Caller gives a toll free (i.e.: 1-800 or 1-844) number to have customer call back with payment.

Anyone who receives this type of call should not make any payments and should hang up and call CPS Energy customer service directly at 210-353-2222.

The company said if someone approaches a customer’s home or business claiming to be with CPS Energy, the customer should always ask for an employee ID. Customers who fear they are in immediate danger should call 911.