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Important Security Threat Safety Bulletin ~ Pulled and edited from the City Of Goleta’s E-Blast April 15, 2020:
It is hard to understand how anyone could take advantage of people during a time of crisis, but unfortunately, there are scammers using this pandemic to take advantage of vulnerable citizens. The City of Goleta sent out an alert today notifying our community to be on the lookout for potential scams from people representing to be utility companies. See more about this new scam alert below:
SoCalGas is warning customers of a scam where the caller informs the resident that they have a delinquent payment and that their service will be shut off if they don’t pay over the phone immediately. SoCalGas wants customers to know they do not call customers seeking payment. Southern California Edison (SCE) is reporting a similar scam.
SoCalGas is sharing the following tips on how to recognize and respond to these scams.
SoCalGas advises consumers to 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.
- There are 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:
Here is a list of ways that utility companies say the public can avoid being taken advantage of.
1. Do not give out your personal information:
- Social Security numbers
- Credit card numbers
- Bank account numbers
- Names or passwords
2. SoCalGas employees always carry an ID badge so ask to see a photo ID before letting anyone inside your home.
3. Customers can verify the employee’s uniform and identification. Most SoCalGas authorized employees will appear:
- In a uniform with the company logo
- Carry an official employee badge, and
- And drive a company car
SoCalGas employees will always be happy to wait while the customer confirms their identity.
4. Customers can always check the status of their SoCalGas account or pay their latest bill by logging on to My Account
7. Please report scams to the non-emergency Sheriff’s Office Dispatch line at 805-683-2724.