SoCalGas Warns Customers About Latest Nationwide Scam Imposters Claim President Obama is paying utility bills

LOS ANGELES, May 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) is alerting customers to be aware of a scam that has impacted other utility customers in several states across the country. The scam claims that President Barack Obama is providing credits or applying payments to utility bills. 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. According to reports, scammers have visited customers in person, posted fliers and used social media and texting to send messages claiming that President Obama will provide a credit or directly pay utility bills.

SoCalGas wants to assure customers that SoCalGas employees carry proper identification when called out to any job.  The company also does not randomly call or text customers asking for social security or other information. Customers should verify the employee's proper uniform and identification before letting anyone in the home or on their property. Customer safety is a top priority for SoCalGas and employees will always be happy to wait while the customer confirms their identity.

Here are some tips to help customers identify SoCalGas employees:

  • Be vigilant and question anyone who presents themselves as a representative of the utility.
  • SoCalGas workers who perform in-home appliance services, work on gas meters or work on gas pipelines wear uniforms. However, some other employees do not.  Always ask for identification before allowing anyone inside the home or on the property.
  • The majority of authorized SoCalGas employees will be in uniform with company logo and carry an official employee badge.  Most field employees also drive a company vehicle.
  • Most of the time a SoCalGas employee visits a home or business in response to a service request.  If no one scheduled an appointment, call SoCalGas before allowing anyone inside the home or property
  • Never leave the house unlocked and unattended.  SoCalGas does not ask customers to leave their homes unattended.
  • To verify the authenticity of anyone claiming to be a representative of SoCalGas, customers are encouraged to ask for proper identification or call the utility at 1-800-427-2200 (or 1-800-342-4545 in Spanish). SoCalGas customer service representatives are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Visit socalgas.com/safety for more information on staying safe.

About Southern California Gas Co.

Southern California Gas Co. has been delivering clean, safe and reliable natural gas to its customers for more than 140 years.  It is the nation's largest natural gas distribution utility, providing service to 20.9 million consumers connected through nearly 5.8 million meters in more than 500 communities.  The company's service territory encompasses approximately 20,000 square miles throughout central and Southern California, from Visalia to the Mexican border.  SoCalGas is a regulated subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE).

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110110/MM27708LOGO)

SOURCE Southern California Gas Co.



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