San Diego Gas & Electric alerted customers of various fraudulent scams Monday that includes imposters posing as the agency's staffers.
“With SDG&E, it’s big," SDG&E spokeswoman Elizabeth Beaver said. "We get reports from customers every day, either that they were scammed or that someone called them and tried to scam them."
New uniforms were unveiled as the Utilities United Against Scams campaign week kicked off, Beaver said. The campaign group consists of 100 utility companies, including SDG&E, seeking to raise awareness of scams nationwide.
Customers should be aware of several new uniform styles that will be worn by SDG&E employees for easy identification, Beaver said. The new SDG&E logo will be embroidered directly on the fabric of the upper-left chest or upper-right shoulder and sleeve to help customers recognize authorized staff.
Previously, the uniforms donned a white patch which would display the SDG&E logo. In the updated style, the logo cannot be removed from the clothing.
Scammers may call customers, threatening to turn off electric and gas service unless they receive an immediate payment, according to SDG&E. Other imposters will door knock and make similar claims.
“Our customer service agents would never call and demand immediate payment. They would always work with you on a payment plan if you’re behind," Beaver said. "And we certainly would not demand something on a prepaid debit card.”
The uniforms include enhanced safety features to help employees avoid injuries and accidents, according to SDG&E. More than 1,800 employees will wear the uniforms, designed to meet the latest fire resistance and visibility standards.
Anyone could become a victim of these scams, Beaver said. Non-English speaking customers can be targeted, and businesses are often hit during rush hour.
If you're ever unsure whether an SDG&E official is authorized, call the agency at 800-411-7343.