Scammers often take advantage of times when customers may be distracted or are feeling vulnerable during a crisis – like what we are experiencing right now with the coronavirus pandemic. The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that scammers are taking advantage of the COVID-19 outbreak, using phishing emails, texts and social media posts. It is not uncommon for scammers to impersonate SDG&E professionals through phone calls to target our customers.
Be vigilant in protecting your personal information, and do not click links that may be malicious. In addition to doing our part to help limit the spread of the coronavirus, we also want to do our best to ensure our customers are safe from scams in these times of additional stress.
In case of utility scams, the most popular tactic used by imposters is to threaten to turn off a customer’s power unless they offer up immediate payment for a past-due bill. Customers sometimes fall victim to these types of scams because imposters use “caller ID-spoofing” technology to trick caller ID to show our 1-800 number.
What you need to know
SDG&E will never proactively contact customers requesting their credit card, banking or other financial information or threaten immediate disconnection. Currently, due to the financial impact the coronavirus is having on customers who have been laid-off or seen their hours cut back, we are suspending service disconnections for nonpayment until further notice – details here.
SDG&E will NOT:
- Call a customer to proactively ask for payment information during the call. Customers may receive communications directing them to pay their bill via their MyAccount at sdge.com, use the Billmatrix system, or to call and use the automated pay by phone option at 1-800-411-7343
- Request that a customer use pre-paid debit cards for payments or cryptocurrencies (i.e. Green Dot, Bitcoin) to pay their bill
- Send emails with an online payment method with a QR code
- If a caller claims to work for SDG&E and asks for payment over the phone, it is a scam
- Only provide financial information by telephone if you made the call
- Hang up and call us directly at 1-800-411-7343 if you want to verify information about your account. You can also view your account status, including bills and payments, through our mobile app or via myaccount.sdge.com
Know who’s at your door
Next time someone claiming to work for SDG&E seeks to enter your home or business, especially if they did not arrive in an SDG&E-marked company vehicle, if you are suspicious, ask to see their company identification card. If you are still suspicious, please call SDG&E at 1-800-411-7343.
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 our customers know what to do if they are targeted, especially during times when routines may be disrupted and stress may be higher than usual.
If you believe you might have been a victim of fraud, please call us immediately at 1-800-411-7343 to report it. You can also follow these additional tips to avoid becoming a victim of utility scams.