LOS ANGELES – The Southern California Gas Co. is reminding residents to be on the alert for potential scams targeting utility customers during the COVID-19 outbreak.
One common scam involves telling customers they must pay their gas bill immediately or their natural gas service will be disconnected.
“SoCalGas does not call customers seeking payment,” the utility said in a statement. “Additionally, on March 13, the utility announced it had suspended service disconnections for customers who are struggling to pay their bills until further notice. This decision was made to support the health, safety and wellness of our customers during this crisis.”
SoCalGas provided the following information on types of scams:
— Caller ID “spoofing,” a practice in which calls falsely appear to be coming from SoCalGas. The caller may try to sell products, collect personal information or collect payment on your gas bill. SoCalGas will never ask for payment through the phone.
— Phishing emails, texts and social media posts with malicious attachments asking you to send personal information or money to another entity.
— Utility imposters appearing at your place of residence or business demanding payment.
How to protect yourself:
— Never provide your personal information such as Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, bank account numbers; and never share names and passwords with anyone claiming to be a utility representative.
— Always ask to see a SoCalGas photo ID badge before letting someone inside your home. All SoCalGas employees on company business are required to carry a badge. Customers are encouraged to verify the employee’s uniform and identification.
Also, most of SoCalGas authorized employees will always be in a uniform with the company logo and drive a company car. SoCalGas employees will wait while the customer confirms their identity. Customers can always check the status of their SoCalGas account or pay their latest bill by logging on to My Account.
Customers who have questions about their experience with a SoCalGas representative should immediately contact SoCalGas customer service at 800-427- 2200.
Customer service representatives are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Go to socalgas.com/scam-alert for additional tips and information about scams.