CenterPoint Energy is warning customers about scammers sending texts claiming that bills are past due and trying to take the customer’s money or identity. The way it works is, the scammer texts the customer that their service will be disconnected if a large payment isn’t made and prompts them to click on a malicious link.

Spokeswoman Rebecca Virden said, “Not only is this a scam saying urgent action required, you need to contact your utility, or your bill is past due; it’s also charging our customers unless they have unlimited usage.”

Virden said customers are first contacted about past due bills via mail, not text, phone call or in-person visit. She added, “If anyone is contacted, whether it’s a business owner, or a residential customer, by a possible scammer, you want to discontinue that contact immediately and definitely report it, report it to the police, or the Better Business Bureau.”

She is also telling customers that receive a similar phone call that they should hang up immediately.

Virden is asking impacted customers to also call CenterPoint directly to report such activity.