PPL Electric Utilities is warning all of its customers to be on the lookout for payment scams.

Utility customers are being targeted by scam artists who threaten to shut off their service based on false claims of overdue bills, the company said in a news release.

PPL has received several complaints from both business and residential customers, saying they've received such calls during the last few weeks. The scammers have asked them to make an immediate payment with a pre-paid debit card to avoid service disconnection, the release said.

"Unfortunately, these kinds of scams continue to target our customers and utility customers nationwide," said Bob Geneczko, vice president of customer services for the utility. "Please be informed about your account and guarded about anyone who requests payment by phone. Remain vigilant."

If customers have any doubts about a call they receive, PPL is recommending they hang up and call the utility at 800-342-5775 for verification and also call the local police department.

PPL is working with local police on the current scam cases and has notified the state attorney general's office about the incidents, Geneczko said.

Customers can check their account balances anytime at www.pplelectric.com or by calling 800-342-5775. Also, a pre-paid debit card is not the only form of payment accepted. PPL accepts payments online and by traditional mail with checks, and credit cards and debit cards.

The company is also reminding customers its employees rarely show up unannounced at someone's door and always carry proper identification.

—Reach Candy Woodall at cwoodall@yorkdispatch.com.