Keeping our customers and our communities safe is a core value at SoCalGas. To help you avoid being the victim of fraudulent activities, we've provided information on the most common scams targeting utility customers.
Scam Emails and Calls
Some of our customers report receiving suspicious emails that appear to be bills sent by another utility company. Similar email and phone scams have been happening recently throughout the country.
If you receive a suspicious email or phone call requesting information about your account, or from an unknown utility, please take the following precautions:
- DO NOT reply to the request
- DO NOT click on any links in the email
- DO NOT open any attachments
- DO NOT provide any personal information
- DO permanently delete the email from your computer or inbox
Pre-paid Cash Cards
This scam involves utility imposters telling customers that if they don't pay their energy bills immediately with pre-paid cash cards, their natural gas, electric or water service will be turned off.
The scam starts with a phone call telling you that you have to purchase a pre-paid cash card to pay your bill. Once the card is purchased, you're directed to another phone number where information is obtained from the card and the cash value is removed.
"Although there are no reports of SoCalGas® customers being a victim of this fraudulent activity, we want to alert our customers in an effort to prevent them from becoming potential victims," said Michael Schneider, vice president of customer operations at SoCalGas. "We advise customers to be alert and not to provide any type of financial information if they receive a call from a suspicious company.”
Your Payment Options
As a SoCalGas customer, you have multiple payment options:
- Pre-enrolled direct debit
- By mail
- In person at an authorized payment location
If you're behind on your payment, we'll provide past due notification in writing before shutting off your service for non-payment. If you call us about your bill, we will always be able to provide account information and your exact past due balance.
President Obama Paying Utility Bills Scam
Some SoCalGas customers report being contacted and told that President Barack Obama will directly pay their utility bills or provide credits. This is just another scam.
In some cases, scammers have asked for social security numbers in order to allow for credits or to apply payments to customers’ utility bills, presenting an identity-theft risk. As part of the scam, they provide invalid routing numbers obtained illegally and not owned by the Federal Reserve Bank. If you use these routing numbers your payment WILL NOT be processed and the bill WILL NOT be paid.
Have You Been Affected?
If you've provided any personal information, such as your bank account or social security number to someone other than a SoCalGas representative, you may be a victim of identity theft. We recommend that any SoCalGas customers who have fallen victim to this scam report the incident to their local law enforcement agency.
If you've been affected by this scam, you'll have the opportunity to make another payment using valid bank account information. Please make sure you do this quickly to prevent your account from becoming past due.
Recognizing Utility Impostors
- We encourage you to be vigilant and question anyone who presents themselves as a representative of SoCalGas.
- All SoCalGas employees on company business are required to carry a photo ID badge.
- SoCalGas workers who perform in-home appliance services, work on gas meters or work on gas pipelines wear uniforms. However, some employees do not. Always ask for identification before letting someone inside your home.
- The majority of our authorized employees will always be in a uniform with our company logo, carry an official employee badge, and drive a company car.
- Most of the time we visit your home in response to a service request. If no one scheduled an appointment, call us before allowing anyone inside your home.
- To verify the authenticity of anyone claiming to be a representative of SoCalGas, ask for proper identification or call headquarters at 1-800-427-2200 (or 1-800-342-4545 in Spanish).
- Customer service representatives are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.