ROSEMEAD, Calif., – Southern California Edison (SCE) is advising Asian customers to be aware of a telephone scam is demanding 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, such as a PayPal or Green Dot card. To date, 15 percent of the customers who have notified SCE of payment scams are in Asian communities. Of those, 90 percent are business customers.
“We ask our customers to be alert to these calls that demand immediate payment and threaten service disconnection,” said Henry Martinez, SCE vice president of Safety, Security & Compliance. “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.”
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 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 your residence
For more ways customers can stay safe, please see www.sce.com/safety and read the safety tips section.
About Southern California Edison
An Edison International (NYSE:EIX) company, Southern California Edison is the largest electric utility in California, serving a population of more than 13 million via 4.8 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within Central, Coastal and Southern California.