SoCalGas Takes Part in "Utilities United Against Scams Day" To Help Protect Customers from Fraud
UUAS and its member companies have helped to shut down nearly 2,500 Toll-Free Numbers used by scammers against utility customers since March 2017
Nov 14, 2018
LOS ANGELES, Nov. 14, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) and other natural gas water and electric utilities across the United States and Canada are joining forces today to protect their customers from scammers impersonating utility employees, either on the phone or in-person. A coalition of utilities called Utilities United Against Scams (UUAS) designated November 14 as the third annual "Utilities United Against Scams Day," which will also be supported by a week-long campaign focused on exposing the tricks criminals use to steal money from customers. Through increased awareness and reports of possible scams, UUAS and its member companies have helped to shut down nearly 2,500 Toll-Free Numbers used by scammers against utility customers since March 2017.
"We take the privacy and security of our SoCalGas customers very seriously and are proud to take part in this campaign to help raise awareness," said Paul Goldstein, vice president of customer services at SoCalGas. "We encourage customers to look for the warning signs associated with this latest scam and to call the police as well as our customer call center number to report it to us. We also want to reiterate that we do not call our customers who are late on their payments but will instead send an email or a notice in the mail."
Going from November 11-17, this year's campaign "7 Scams in 7 Days" focuses on scams involving unsolicited phone calls from individuals who falsely claim to be SoCalGas or other utility representatives. The scammer warns the customer that SoCalGas will disconnect the customer's natural gas service if the customer fails to make a payment, usually within a short timeframe. It is important that customers call SoCalGas directly to check on the status of their accounts if they are ever unsure about the authenticity of a caller or the identity of a service worker, or if they suspect any fraudulent activity. SoCalGas representatives do not call customers demanding payments by phone. In some cases, recorded messages remind customers that payments are due to avoid service interruptions, but SoCalGas will never demand payments be made by phone.
Bill payment options include:
Warning signs of a scam:
How to protect yourself:
SoCalGas continues its efforts to protect its customers in a variety of ways including: bill messages and alerts, working with the media, and partnering with local law enforcement and officials.
Customers are also encouraged to enroll in My Account for free tracking alerts and other online tools. It's an easy way to monitor natural gas use each week — instead of waiting until the monthly bill arrives — and it can help customers use less natural gas to lower their bills. Once enrolled, they can easily access their gas usage information, pay bills, schedule service orders and sign up for Bill Tracker Alerts.
Get Social to #StopScams
SoCalGas is committed to investing in its natural gas system infrastructure, while keeping bills affordable for our customers. From 2013 through 2017, the company spent nearly $6 billion to upgrade and modernize its natural gas system to enhance safety and reliability. The company is also committed to being a leader in the region's clean energy future, and is working to accelerate the use of renewable natural gas from dairy farms, landfills and wastewater treatment plants and the development of renewable energy storage technologies. SoCalGas is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), an energy services holding company based in San Diego. For more information visit socalgas.com/newsroom or connect with SoCalGas on Twitter (@SoCalGas), Instagram (@SoCalGas) and Facebook.
SOURCE Southern California Gas Company
For further information: Vanessa Skillman, Office of Media and Public Information, (213) 244-2442, firstname.lastname@example.org