Area residents are being warned about a billing scam being perpetrated.

Both Xcel Energy and the Texas Attorney General’s office urge people to watch for an apparent national scam involving attempts to obtain Social Security numbers and bank routing numbers.

The perpetrators of the scam claim that the federal government is providing or applying payments to utility bills, and customers are told that they can make a utility payment by using a bank routing number supplied by the scam artists.

After the scammers obtain the victims’ information, the customers are given a phony bank routing number which they are told may be used to pay their bills.

The scam is being carried out via telephone, Twitter, and texting, and some reports of customers receiving fliers have begun to arise as well.

Xcel says that customers should only use authorized methods and legitimate banking information to pay their bills. Any customers affected are asked to contact Xcel Energy customer service at 1-800-895-4999.

Anyone that has given a credit card number to one of these scammers should contact their credit card company immediately.