New York State Attorney General Letitia James is warning residents about another surge in telephone scams.

The scammers are impersonating a utilities customer service representative urging people to buy gift cards and call back with the serial number to pay what they claim is a delinquent bill.

Photo: New York State Attorney General's Office

While these types of scams are not uncommon, the Attorney General has issued a new alert across the state due to an increase in reports again.

James says as residents continue to suffer the economic impacts of the COVID-19 public health crisis, scammers have swooped in to take advantage of the anxiety many New Yorkers are felling over their finances.

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Officials say utilities do not call and threaten to shut off service or demand immediate payment.

Complaints can be filed online with the Consumer Frauds and Protection Bureau or by calling 800-771-7755.

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