San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) is alerting customers to be aware of an ongoing wire fraud that could potentially reach SDG&E customers. The fraudulent activity has been reported on the East Coast and at this time there are no indications that SDG&E customers have targeted.
Utilities on the East Coast have reported that individuals misrepresenting themselves as utility employees are calling customers and threatening to turn off electric and gas service if payment is not made to them that day. Utility customers, primarily in Hispanic neighborhoods, have been told that payment must be made by purchasing a pre-pay credit card, and are directed to another phone number where information is then obtained from the card and the cash value is removed from the card or the permanent card is registered in another name and redirected.
Although there have not yet been reports of this fraudulent activity on the West Coast, SDG&E wants to alert individuals and businesses of this fraud in an effort to prevent them from becoming potential victims. The company assures customers that SDG&E does not proactively contact them and ask for credit card information over the phone.
SDG&E customers should not provide any financial information by phone unless they have initiated the conversation. SDG&E provides past due notices in writing before service is shut-off for non-payment. Additionally, all SDG&E employees on company business are required to carry a photo ID badge. If customers receive a phone call that makes them feel uncomfortable, and they know they have an outstanding balance that needs to be resolved, they should hang up and call SDG&E directly at 1-800-411-7343.
SDG&E is a regulated public utility that provides safe and reliable energy service to 3.5 million consumers through 1.4 million electric meters and more than 850,000 natural gas meters in San Diego and southern Orange counties. The utility’s area spans 4,100 square miles. SDG&E is committed to creating ways to help our customers save energy and money every day. SDG&E is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego.