SDG&E alerts customers of new uniforms to help avoid scams

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — Each year, thousands of customers across America report losing millions of dollars to scammers claiming to be with local utility companies.

That’s why San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) wants to alert customers to new uniforms being worn by gas and electric field employees, so they can easily identify personnel and avoid falling victim to payment scams.

The new uniforms come in a variety of colors and styles and prominently feature the SDG&E logo, ensuring customers are able to easily identify authorized SDG&E workers, while also meeting the latest industry safety standards for our employees.

Among the new styles are long-sleeve button-down shirts, t-shirts and coveralls in greys, tans and blues, as well high-visibility pullovers in bright yellow and heavy-duty outerwear in brown and navy blue.

The announcement of the new uniforms coincides with the first day of Utility Scam Awareness Week, a nationwide event to raise awareness and protect customers from fraud. The weeklong campaign is organized by Utilities United Against Scams, a consortium of North American utilities, including SDG&E.

Spotting a Scammer, Stopping a Loss

Scammers use a number of approaches to defraud customers, including on the phone, in-person, through the mail and online. While the techniques used by cons can sometimes be convincing — like caller ID spoofing, which makes a fraudulent call display as if it’s coming from SDG&E — there are some telltale ways customers can spot a scam and prevent a loss:

Signs of a scam

  • Demand for immediate payment — SDG&E will never initiate contact via email, phone, in-person or otherwise to demand immediate payment or ask for personal information, such as bank accounts, social security numbers or other sensitive information. If someone comes to a customer’s door claiming to work for SDG&E and they feel at all suspicious, ask for picture identification. If the person can’t provide one, customers are asked to please report the incident to SDG&E at 800-411-7343.
  • Threat to disconnect service immediately — SDG&E customer service agents are trained to work with customers to arrange for payment plans or other processes to resolve outstanding balances. SDG&E will never shut-off service without proper advanced written notification.
  • Request for payment information — SDG&E will never proactively contact customers to ask for immediate payment information. If a customer is contacted by someone claiming that payment for SDG&E is due immediately, hang up and restart the call directly with SDG&E at 800-411-7343.

What if a scammer comes knocking?

Energy companies nationwide are working with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to identify and prosecute scammers. SDG&E encourages anyone who has been victim to a scam to report any loss to local law enforcement.

If you are contacted by someone claiming to be with SDG&E and feel at all suspicious or uncomfortable, end the conversation and call SDG&E on the main customer service line at 800-411-7343. Customers can also enroll in My Account to instantly and securely verify account balances.

Categories: Local San Diego News