SDG&E tells how to spot scams

 

Last updated 10/11/2019 at 4:59am



SAN DIEGO – Scammers work year-round to defraud people, and sometimes these con artists pretend to be San Diego Gas and Electric employees. Criminals who impersonate utility employees often threaten to take immediate and drastic action. You can identify scammers by the way they demand payment, including prepaid debit cards, green dot cars and cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin.

Phone impersonation

If you receive a phone call from a person claiming to work for SDG&E and the caller asks for payment over the phone, it’s a scam. The utility never proactively contacts customers to get their credit card, banking or other financial information over the phone.

Even if you have a past-due balance that needs to be paid, they’ll always provide past-due notices in writing before shutting off service. If in doubt, call us at (800) 411-7343.

Text messages and mobile apps

Clever scammers have begun to solicit money from customers via mobile devices. Mobile apps and text messaging make it easier than ever for criminals to demand and collect payment. Mobile payment apps are convenient and busy or distracted customers can fall prey to scams.


Is a SDG&E employee on-site? Ask for company ID

From time to time, the utility hears about people dressed in what appears to be an SDG&E or service uniform, visiting a customer’s business or home. The fake employees tell the customer they need to perform a routine inspection. Then one of the imposters distracts the customer while the other steals cash and other valuables.

Next time someone claiming to work for SDG&E seeks to enter your home or business, make sure that person is wearing an SDG&E uniform and ask to see the company identification card. Look to ensure that person arrived in an SDG&E-marked company vehicle.

Customer service hotline or self help line

Scammers often setup temporary phone numbers that sound just like a real call center. You may be greeted with “Welcome to SDG&E” and the menu options may seem the same, but these are fake call center recordings. Never use a number given to you by a caller. Always validate and get published numbers from our website or directory service.

Common online scams

Online “phishing,” or when someone sends a fake but authentic-looking email to you in hopes of getting your information, is a common occurrence. You can protect yourself. Always use caution, with communications from SDG&E and others, too.

· Don’t click on any links in the email.

· Don’t download any attachments.

· Don’t reply to the email.

· Don’t provide any information – especially sensitive data like your credit card or your Social Security number.

Protect Yourself

SDG&E often hire contractors for their energy-efficiency programs, but they will never ask you to leave your business for any reason

If you haven’t called to request service or are not expecting a visit from SDG&E, request proper identification.

If you are ever suspicious, call SDG&E at (800) 411-7343.

For more information, visit http://www.sdge.com.

Submitted by San Diego Gas and Electric.

 

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