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COLUMBUS, Ind.--Scammers have been bothering people in Bartholomew County, says the Columbus Police Department.  

“Over the weekend, we received a couple of phone calls from concerned members of the public that received phone calls from scammers. The scammers were claiming to be from Duke Energy and threatening to disconnect their electric service unless payment was made for the past due bills they said was due to them,” said Matthew Harris, Public Relations Officer for the Columbus Police Department. 

They also want you to pay them immediately using iTunes or prepaid gift cards. 

“You should never give your personal information over the phone to unsolicited callers regardless of who they say they are or where they’re calling from,” Harris said. 

He says if anyone starts demanding that you pay them with gift cards of any kind, that’s usually a sign that something isn’t right. 

“Prepaid gift cards or wiring money is sometimes difficult to trace. Anytime someone asks for payment via those means, that should be a big red flag,” Harris said. 

If you have a question about a past due utility bill, police say you should call the company directly.    

(PHOTO: Columbus Police Department)