Some Seal Beach business owners recently received calls from someone claiming to represent Southern California Edison. The “representative” then threatened to disconnect their power unless the “debt” was paid immediately. It’s a scam. The following is a list of tips provided by Edison to help you protect yourself from fake bill collectors.
Scam: Caller demands immediate payment with the threat of shutting off your utility service.
Fact: Edison never calls customers over the telephone to collect overdue bills and will never demand immediate payment with the threat of service disconnection.
Scam: You’re instructed to buy a prepaid debit card at a local chain store within the next 30-60 minutes and load it with a set amount of money.
Fact: Edison does not accept prepaid debit cards for bill payments.
Caller claims to be from Edison’s Disconnection Department.
Fact: Edison does not have a “Disconnection Department.”
Scam: Caller asks for money in person.
Fact: Edison employees never ask for, or collect, money out in the field.
Scam: You get a call on a weekend or holiday about an unpaid bill.
Fact: Edison does not conduct credit transactions on weekends or holidays.
Scam: Told a truck with Edison letters and “Service Disconnect” is en route to your home or business, or parked outside.
Fact: Edison does not own or operate vehicles with Service Disconnection Department signage.
• Never reveal personal information, including you credit card, ATM or calling card numbers to anyone.
• Never use a call-back number provided by an unknown caller to verify billing information. Edison does not use extension numbers. Instead, call legitimate Edison telephone numbers printed on your utility bill or visit SCE.com.
• Shred your utility bill before disposing of it in your trash bin. Scammers can get your account information from discarded bills.
• Don’t fall for the 15-30 minute rush drill, the amount of time the impostor gives you to pay. Take your time and verify your bill by calling Edison.
• If someone calls and requests you leave your residence at a specific time for a utility-related cause, call the police. This could be a burglary attempt set up by the caller.
• Edison employees always have their SCE ID badge displayed on their person for customers to see.
• For more tips, visit on.sce.com/ ScamAlert.