As Mainers continue to deal with cold temperatures, a scam has resurfaced in which Central Maine Power customers are threatened with immediate disconnection unless they make a substantial payment immediately.

CMP spokeswoman Gail Rice says the company has seen an uptick in inquiries from residential and business customers who say they have gotten calls from individuals purporting to be from CMP.

“Some of these customers are being told to provide a credit card, but more of them are being told to go to a local retailer and buy a prepaid debit card such as a Green Dot money card, and to load up that card with funds and then call back a number that’s provided,” she says. “One of the things that’s really concerning about this is that these scam artists have set up a phone line, and that phone line has a recording of Central Maine Power’s greeting that customers hear when they call our customer service line, so it initially sounds quite legitimate.”

Rice says it’s very rare for CMP to disconnect residential service in the middle of winter, and that CMP doesn’t accept prepaid debit cards. She says anyone receiving such a call should simply hang up.

This article appears through a media partnership with Maine Public.