Beware of telephone scams targeting SoCal Edison customers

scamSouthern California Edison (SCE) is advising customers to be aware of a telephone scam that demands immediate payment for allegedly past due electricity bills.

Imposters have been calling SCE customers telling them they must make immediate payment on past due bills or have their electric service disconnected. The callers are also demanding that payment be made through a prepaid cash card. Other forms of fraud involve customers being asked to purchase prepaid debit cards. Scammers ask for the debit card number and collect the value deposited on the card.

SCE customers have reported about 800 instances of phone scams this year. About 150 residential and commercial customers have been victimized by some form of bill scam with the incidents costing them an average of $800 to $1,000.

“We ask our customers to be alert to these calls that demand immediate payment and threaten service disconnection,” said Marlyn Denter, SCE manager of consumer affairs. “Customers suspecting a fraudulent call should ask for the caller’s name, department and business phone number. If the caller refuses to provide this information, customers should terminate the call and report the incident immediately to local police or SCE at 800-655-4555.”

Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey, whose office prosecutes crimes in about 80 cities within SCE’s service territory, joins the utility in warning consumers about telephone scams.

“SCE and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office share a common interest in keeping Los Angeles County residents safe from bill scams and other financial crimes,” Lacey said.

“A first step to preventing financial scams — particularly among the elderly and in ethnic communities — is to educate the public,” she said. “When these crimes do occur, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office is fully committed to prosecuting them to the fullest extent of the law.”

SCE also reminds customers to ask for identification when a stranger comes to the door or calls claiming to be a utility worker. SCE utility workers will provide verification, including their department and phone number, when asked.

In most cases, home visits by SCE are scheduled by the customer and SCE will confirm the appointment in writing. If there are any concerns, SCE and law enforcement officials suggest having the utility worker wait outside until their identity can be verified.

  • SCE customers should also note that:
  • An SCE employee will never ask for money in person.
  • Never reveal your credit card, ATM or calling card numbers (or PIN numbers) to anyone.
  • If someone calls and requests you leave your residence at a specific time for a utility-related cause, call the police. This could be a burglary attempt set up by the caller.
  • Be suspicious of anyone who arrives at your house without an appointment asking to check an appliance, wiring or suggesting that there may be some other electrical problem inside or outside your residence.

For more ways customers can stay safe, please see and read the safety tips section.

(Information via press release from Southern California Edison and Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.)

  4 comments for “Beware of telephone scams targeting SoCal Edison customers

  1. Spencer
    February 2, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    It sad when your roomates where behind this scandle. with hundreds and hundreds of people involed in it. you find out later. there where messing with all the power lines in lancaster and all of LA county. just so they could frame edison. sue the company make millons and millons of dollers. sence edison would lose out on so much money. they would have no choice but to raise your bills. it was a inside job if you really wan’t to no the deep truth its so sad. i repoted it to edison months ago. remember the real story may never come out but all let you no the truth.

  2. Notagain
    August 2, 2013 at 9:34 pm


  3. Yvette
    August 1, 2013 at 11:56 am

    Who are these people who actually fall for these scams?? Seriously no one will ever tell u to go out and buy a pre-paid debit card

  4. Really?
    July 31, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    “Hello, I’m calling from Southern California Edison. Please go out and buy a prepaid VISA cash card and give me the card number. I’ll also need the expiration date and the CVV code please.”

    “Sure, random stranger claiming to be from SCE. Let me get right on that. Would you also like my social security number and date of birth?”


Comments are closed.