How to Spot Scams
Scammers work year-round to defraud people, and sometimes these con artists pretend to be SDG&E employees. Criminals who impersonate utility employees often threaten to take immediate and drastic action. You can identify scammers by the way they demand payment, including pre-paid debit cards, green dot cards and cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin.
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’s a scam. We never proactively contact customers to get their credit card, banking or other financial information over the phone. Even if you have a past-due balance that needs to be paid, remember we’ll always provide past-due notices in writing before shutting off service. If in doubt, call us at 1-800-411-7343.
Text messages and mobile apps
Clever 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.
SDG&E employee onsite? Ask for company ID
From time to time, we hear about people dressed in what appears to be an SDG&E or service uniform, visiting a customer’s business or home. The fake employees tell the customer they need to perform a routine inspection. Then one of the imposters distracts the customer while the other steals cash and other valuables.
Next time someone claiming to work for SDG&E seeks to enter your home or business, make sure that person is wearing an SDG&E uniform and ask to see the company identification card. Look to ensure that person arrived in an SDG&E-marked company vehicle.
Customer Service Hotline/Self Help
Scammers often setup temporary phone numbers that sound just like a real call center. You may be greeted with “Welcome to SDG&E” and the menu options may seem the same, but these are fake call center recordings. Never use a number given to you by a caller. Always validate and get published numbers from our website or directory service.
Common Online Scams
Online “phishing,” or when someone sends a fake but authentic-looking email to you in hopes of getting your information, is a common occurrence. You can protect yourself. Always use caution, with communications from SDG&E and others, too.
- Don’t click on any links in the email.
- Don’t download any attachments.
- Don’t reply to the email.
- Don’t provide any information – especially sensitive data like your credit card or your social security number.
- Make sure that anyone who tries to enter your business is wearing a real SDG&E-marked uniform.
- Ask any SDG&E employee to display a company identification card.
- Look outside to see that the person arrived in an SDG&E-marked company vehicle.
- We will never leave the business unattended.
We often hire contractors for our energy-efficiency programs, but they will never ask you to leave your business for any reason
- If you haven’t called to request service or are not expecting a visit from SDG&E, request proper identification.
- If you are ever suspicious, please call SDG&E at 1-800-411-7343.