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San Diego Gas& Electric is warning customers of scammers impersonating SDG&E employees over the phone or in person who defraud their victims  by threatening service disconnection. 

With Utility Scam Awareness Day on Nov. 16, SDG&E has joined others across the country to share tips on how to spot scams. According to SDG&E, top targets of utility impersonators include limited-English speakers, the elderly and small businesses – particularly restaurants.

Tactics being used by scammers are constantly evolving to defraud victims, including phone spoofing where they manipulate the caller ID to display SDG&E’s customer service number, so victims think that they are receiving a legitimate call.

“The ruse most often includes a caller posing as a utility collections employee. Victims are told their account is delinquent and that a technician will arrive within the hour to shut off their electricity if they do not pay the past due amount immediately,” wrote SDG&E in a statement. 

According to SDG&E, victims are asked to pay with non-traceable Bitcoin, payment apps such as Zelle, Green Dot debit cards, or other non-traditional forms of payment. 

“Utility scams have grown in sophistication, with the victim being passed off to other role players to give the perception the imposter is calling from a large organization.  When a scammer’s number shows up on caller ID as being different from a utility’s customer service number, the scammer may claim the number on the caller ID does not match the utility’s phone number due to the company’s COVID-19 remote work policy,” wrote SDG&E in a statement. 

The following tips are offered by SDG&E to help customers avoid these scams: 

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

Fraud complaints can be filed with the Federal Trade Commission at To learn more about common scams and signs, visit UNITED – Home (

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