This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SAN DIEGO — San Diego Gas & Electric is warning customers of potential scammers as the holiday season approaches.

SDG&E Communications Manager Anthony Wagner said customers need to be on the lookout for imposters who pretend to be employees over the phone or in person. He said these scammers typically threaten service disconnections with the intent of receiving fake payments from customers.

Tactics to defraud victims include phone spoofing, where scammers manipulate the caller ID to display SDG&E’s customer service number. In these instances, customers may think they are receiving a legitimate call, though they are not.

Wagner said top targets of utility impersonators include limited-English speakers, the elderly and small businesses.

“Business both large and small must remain vigilant,” he said. “Because of the sophistication of the fraud, an unsuspecting, well-intentioned business entity could easily fall into this trap and the losses are sometimes staggering.”

SDG&E’s tips to avoid becoming a victim

-SDG&E will never call to demand immediate payments be made over the phone with the threat of immediate service disconnection. SDG&E provides a variety of payment assistance programs to customers and sends multiple notices to customers before disconnecting service.

-SDG&E will never ask customers to pay using digital payment apps or cryptocurrencies. The only bill payment options SDG&E uses are MyAccount, a Branch Office location, an Authorized Payment Location or BillMatrix, which accepts payment with a credit card via phone.

-SDG&E customers who are uncertain about their account status should call SDG&E or look up their bill and payment history via MyAccount. 

-Never use the call back number provided by an unknown caller to verify billing information.

Anyone who would like to report fraud or file a complaint can do so here.

SDG&E said it’s joining utilities across the nation to mark Utility Scam Awareness Day on Nov. 16.