800 plus utility scams reported to SDG&E over the past two years with losses totaling more than half a million dollars
SAN DIEGO, Nov. 15, 2021 – With scammers targeting utility customers and impersonating utility employees year-round, San Diego Gas & Electric is joining a nationwide campaign – the sixth annual Utility Scam Awareness Day on Nov. 17 – to help its customers recognize common scam tactics.
“End the Call. End the Scam” is the theme of this year’s campaign, led by Utilities United Against Scams (UUAS), a consortium of more than 150 U.S. and Canadian electric, water and natural gas utilities, and their trade associations. According to UUAS, the number of scams has increased since the pandemic started, and scammers are targeting vulnerable customers facing financial difficulties, taking advantage of their reliance on essential services.
Over the past two years, SDG&E received 806 reports of scams from its customers with estimated losses totaling about $513,100.
The Most Common Scams
- Scammers often threaten immediate service disconnections if a customer does not pay immediately. SDG&E will never contact customers to tell them they must pay now or risk immediate disconnection. The company works with customers on payment plans if they are struggling to pay past due balances and offers a variety of assistance programs.
- Scammers often demand payment with cryptocurrency (such as Bitcoin), prepaid cards (such as Green Dot MoneyPak) or via third-party payment apps, such as Venmo or Zelle. SDG&E does not use these payment methods. SDG&E customers may receive communications directing them to pay their bill via their MyAccount at myaccount.sdge.com, use the Billmatrix system, or to call and use the automated pay-by-phone option at 1-800-411-7343.
Tips to Guard Against Fraud
- Only provide financial information over the phone if you made the call.
- Make sure whoever is on the other line can verify they are with SDG&E or can verify your account information. If you are unsure, hang up and contact SDG&E directly.
- Every SDG&E employee on company business is required to carry a photo ID badge. If you encounter someone claiming to be an SDG&E employee, request to see his/her ID badge or call us at 1-800-411-7343.
- If you want to verify information about your account, including bills and payments, login to the MyAccount portal, or use the SDG&E mobile app.
Victims of utility scams are urged to call SDG&E immediately at 1-800-411-7343 to report it. Additional tips to avoid becoming a victim of utility scams are available here.