Criminals work around the clock to target our customers. One of their favorite tactics is phone ID spoofing, where they tamper with information being transmitted to your caller ID so it looks like SDG&E is calling you.
We’ve recently noticed another wave of scammers using phone ID-spoofing to target our customers. If you ever get a call from someone claiming to be with SDG&E, and you are suspicious about this person’s intentions, please call our Customer Contact Center immediately to verify that the call was indeed from us.
Scammers who target utility customers tend to use the same script: they threaten to turn off your power unless you offer up immediate payment for a past due bill.
Please note that SDG&E will never proactively contact customers to get their credit card, banking or other financial information over the phone, nor would we ever send out our employees to go door to door to ask for immediate payment. Even if you have a past-due balance that needs to be paid, we will always provide past-due notices in writing before shutting off service.
What is Caller ID-Spoofing
The technique involves disguising their real identity by deliberately falsifying the information being transmitted to your caller ID. Usually, the caller alters the caller ID information to make it look like someone legitimate is calling. For example, in the case of utility scams, the criminals would make it look like SDG&E is calling.
How You Can Protect Yourself from Caller ID Spoofing
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. Here are a few additional tips to consider:
Never provide financial information by telephone unless you made the call.
Contact us directly at 1-800-411-7343 if you have any questions about resolving an outstanding balance.
We offer our customers convenient tools that allow you to make payments, manage your account and stay on top of your energy use, if you ever have any questions about the status of your bill.
Please follow these tips to avoid becoming a victim of utility scams.
Imposters at Your Door
Next time someone claiming to work for SDG&E seeks to enter your home or business, check to make sure they are wearing a real SDG&E uniform and ask them to show you their company identification card. Look to ensure that they arrived in a SDG&E-marked company vehicle. If you are still suspicious, please call SDG&E at 1-800-411-7343.
Scams Involving CryptoCurrencies and Prepaid cards
Some scammers have reached out to our customers via email and cell phone to threaten service shutoff if they don’t make immediate payments using cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin.
In this scam, the con artist calls the victim on the phone and then emails him an online payment method, which features SDG&E’s logo and a QR code (akin to a bar code). When you scan the code with a QR code reader, it takes you to a specific web page to make payment with prepaid debit cards. The customer is directed to buy Bitcoin with GreenDot prepaid debit cards, and then enter the card numbers on the payment web page.
Text Message and Mobile App Scams
Some 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.
Don’t be the Next Victim
Criminals work year-round to come up with new ways to defraud people. We intend to work harder to make sure you know what to do if you are targeted. Arm yourself with information by visiting sdge.com/avoid-scams so you don’t become the next victim. If you believe you might have been a victim of fraud, please call us immediately at 800-411-7343 to report it.