Jeff Smith 11:59 p.m., Feb. 8
Payment Scam May Come to San Diego, Utility Warns
SDG&E is warning customers to be wary of a scam that’s struck customers of other utilities on the East Coast, and that they fear could be spreading across the nation.
As a part of the scam, utility customers are contacted by an individual posing as an employee of the local power company and told that their gas and electric services will be shut off unless a payment is received that day. Customers are then instructed to buy a pre-paid credit card and call another number, where information on the card is taken and the cash balance is withdrawn. Clients in Hispanic neighborhoods have been heavily targeted, SDG&E reports.
The utility is reminding consumers that it does not proactively call customers looking for payment, and that customers should not give personal information to anyone associated with SDG&E unless they initiated the call themselves. Standard company practice is to provide written notice of impending shutoffs for non-payment, not phone contact. Anyone receiving a suspicious call demanding money for utility payments is asked to contact SDG&E directly at (800) 411-7343.
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