Southern California Edison is warning customers to be on the alert for scammers who have already stolen nearly $500,000 this year.
More than 6,000 SCE customers have received scam calls asking for more than $2.2 million. SCE estimates 442 customers have paid scammers nearly $420,000 this year.
“The best way for customers to protect themselves against energy company phone scams is to educate themselves, their families and friends about receiving telephone calls from individuals claiming to be with SCE demanding money for payment,” Randy White, SCE’s manager of Physical Security Operations, said.
The amount of money customers are losing to scammers is increasing because of new tactics scammers are using, SCE says.
“SCE will not call you and be aggressive instructing payments for past-due balances,” White said. “Our employees never demand immediate payment or ask you to send money through Zelle, Bitcoin or a prepaid credit card to prevent your electricity from being shut off. We will never require you to use a specific or single form of payment.”
This is the time of year when energy company phone scams spike, according to law enforcement agencies. SCE advises customers targeted by a suspected utility bill scam should confirm their payment status through their online account or report the scam by calling SCE at 800-655-4555, emailing SCE at email@example.com and report the scam attempt to local law enforcement.