Scammers work year-round to defraud people, but tax season is a time when you need to be especially careful.
Criminals who impersonate Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agents or utility companies such as SDG&E often threaten to take immediate and drastic actions as a way to extract money from victims. In the case of tax scams, threats can include arrest and revocation of a business license. In the case of utility scams, the threat is usually immediate power shutoff.
In general, the advice from experts is to hang up. Legitimate organizations typically don’t demand immediate payment over the phone, using specific payment methods, such as prepaid debit card or wire transfer.
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. SDG&E never proactively calls customers seeking immediate payment by phone. We will never shut off service without proper advanced written notification.
For tips on how to avoid and report tax scams, visit the Tax Scams/Consumer Alerts section of the IRS website.
One of the especially convincing techniques that con artists use is known as caller ID spoofing. This technique involves the caller disguising his real identify 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.
Don’t be the Next Victim
New scams arise every day. 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.