No matter what season, it’s not good to lose your utilities; but that’s just what scammers are telling you is going to happen.

You’ll get a message — call, text, or email — you owe money on your utility bill, even if you don’t. The newest thing is scammers are requesting payment by cryptocurrency or a QR code.

Utility companies do not threaten to shut off power if you don’t pay by cryptocurrency, wired money, a reloadable card, or a gift card.

Don’t respond if you are contacted. Instead, call the utility company directly using the number on your bill or go to the utility’s website — never follow a link in a message. Contact your utility company directly if you are behind on your bills.

If you have paid a scammer in response to a message like this, take these steps.