It can be a shocking experience. Someone claiming to be from your utility company calls and says your bill is overdue and if you don’t pay it in the next few hours your service will be cut. Then they demand you pay the bill with a prepaid card. Don’t fall for it, because it’s a scam. And you could be out hundreds of dollars. This nationwide scam has targeted both consumers and business owners and the people behind the hoaxes are even able to make the caller ID on your phone look like it’s coming from your utility company. If you get a call like this, it’s important not to panic. Hang up your phone and follow these steps: Don’t run out to get a prepaid card. Once you give that information to a scammer your money is gone and you won’t get it back. Call your utility company directly using the phone number printed on your most recent bill or the one listed on that company’s official website. Ask them to check your account. Report the attempted scam to your utility company local law enforcement and your state Attorney General’s Office or the Federal Trade Commission. It’s also important to know that utility companies won't call to threaten you. They won’t demand a particular type of payment. If your payment really is late you will be sent a reminder bill. And customers will be sent multiple notices before any service is disconnected. Remember, with a little knowledge you have the power to shut these scammers down.