SoCalGas Warns Customers About the Rise of Utility Scams During COVID-19

Utility provides tips for identifying suspicious behavior

Mar 27, 2020

LOS ANGELES, March 27, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) today reminded customers to be on 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. 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 is providing the following tips on how to recognize and respond to these scams:

Be on the lookout for these common scam tactics:

  • Caller ID spoofing with calls that appear to be coming from SoCalGas. The caller may try to sell products, collect personal information, or collect payment on your gas bill. Please note that 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, or 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. Most of our authorized employees will always be in a uniform with our company logo, carry an official employee badge, and drive a company car. SoCalGas employees will always be happy to 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. Our customer service representatives are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Visit socalgas.com/scam-alert for additional tips and information about scams.

We understand this is a challenging time for us all. Rest assured, your natural gas service will be there for your community. We will continue to make safety and emergency service appointments, including reports of suspected natural gas leaks, carbon monoxide checks, gas meter turn-ons, natural gas outage and pilot re-lights. SoCalGas will also continue work needed to safely and reliably maintain our infrastructure so we can continue to provide you with safe and essential energy services.

Additional information about SoCalGas' response to COVID-19 is available here.

About SoCalGas  

Headquartered in Los Angeles, SoCalGas® is the largest gas distribution utility in the United States. SoCalGas delivers affordable, reliable, clean and increasingly renewable gas service to 21.8 million customers across 24,000 square miles of Central and Southern California, where more than 90 percent of residents use natural gas for heating, hot water, cooking, drying clothes or other uses. Gas delivered through the company's pipelines also plays a key role in providing electricity to Californians— about 45 percent of electric power generated in the state comes from gas-fired power plants. 

SoCalGas' vision is to be the cleanest gas utility in North America, delivering affordable and increasingly renewable energy to its customers. In support of that vision, SoCalGas is committed to replacing 20 percent of its traditional natural gas supply with renewable natural gas (RNG) by 2030. Renewable natural gas is made from waste created by dairy farms, landfills and wastewater treatment plants. SoCalGas is also committed to investing in its gas delivery infrastructure while keeping bills affordable for our customers. From 2014 through 2018, the company invested nearly $6.5 billion to upgrade and modernize its pipeline system to enhance safety and reliability. 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.  

About Southern California Gas Co.: Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) has been delivering clean, safe and reliable natural gas to its customers for more than 145 years. It is the nation's largest natural gas distribution utility, providing service to 21.6 million consumers connected through 5.9 million meters in more than 500 communities. The company's service territory encompasses approximately 20,000 square miles throughout central and Southern California, from Visalia to the Mexican border. SoCalGas is a regulated subsidiary of Sempra Energy (SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego.

 

 

SOURCE Southern California Gas Company

For further information: Candice Lee, Office of Media and Public Information, (213) 244-2442, (213) 709-5295, clee4@socalgas.com