Atmos Energy is joining Utilities United Against Scams, the company announced Thursday.

The consortium was formed to bring awareness to fraudulent schemes and combat the use of toll-free numbers that scammers use against utility customers.

Atmos Vice President of Public Affairs Bill Greer called customer, public and employee safety "our highest priority."

The company released tips for customers to guard against being scammed.

Atmos employees won't collect cash payments in person, and if a person is representing him or herself as an employee, customers should ask for the employee's identification badge. In the case of a suspected impostor, call the Atmos customer service number at 888-286-6700 along with local authorities.

In case of a suspicious email, Atmos advised, don't click any links, which may contain viruses. Verify that the account information is correct, and verify your account balance through the company's online portal.

Scammers also can pose as utility employees via phone call, demanding immediate payment of past due balances. If there is any doubt about the call's legitimacy, hang up and call the customer service line.

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