Criminals impersonating SDG&E work year-round to come up with new ways to defraud people, and recently there’s been a spike. These criminals threaten to turn power off if their victims don’t make an immediate payment.
SDG&E will never do that. They never contact customers to get their credit card, banking or other financial information over the phone, nor does SDG&E send employees to go door to door to ask for immediate payment.
If you have a past-due balance, remember, SDG&E will always provide past-due notices in writing before shutting off service. And there are programs in place to work out payment arrangements with people who are struggling financially.
Avoid becoming a victim of utility scams with these tips.
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 is a scam. Hang up the phone.
Imposters at your door
If someone claims to work for SDG&E, ask them to show their ID badge. Make sure they are wearing an authentic SDG&E uniform and arrived in an SDG&E-marked company vehicle. If you are still suspicious, please call SDG&E at 1-800-411-7343.
CryptoCurrencies and prepaid cards
The con artist calls the victim and then emails him or her an online payment method with SDG&E’s logo and a QR code (akin to a bar code). The customer is directed to buy Bitcoin with GreenDot prepaid debit cards online.
One of the especially convincing techniques that con artists use is known as caller ID spoofing. The caller alters the caller ID information to make it look like someone legitimate is calling. In the case of utility scams, the criminals would make it look like SDG&E is calling.
Text message and mobile app scams
Some scammers solicit money from customers via mobile devices. Mobile apps and text messaging make it easy for criminals to demand and collect payment. Mobile payment apps are convenient, and busy or distracted customers can fall prey to scams.
Don’t be the Next Victim
New scams arise every day. Arm yourself with information by visiting sdge.com/avoid-scams. If you believe you might have been a victim of fraud, please call SDG&E immediately at 1-800-411-7343 to report it.