JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – The Missouri attorney general is warning people to beware of a scam in which fake representatives of utility companies are seeking money for supposedly overdue bills.

Attorney General Chris Koster says his consumer protection hotline has received several reports of phone callers claiming to be from a power company and demanding money to avoid disconnecting their service.

Koster says the scam has targeted residential and small-business customers and seems to have become more common as the weather has gotten colder.

The attorney general’s office says people should never provide personal or banking information on phone calls they did not initiate. Koster suggests people hang up and instead call the utility company using a number listed on a bill or the company’s website.

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