SDG&E: Con artists tell customers Obama will pay their utility bills

San Diego, May 17, 2012 — San Diego Gas & Electric 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.

SDG&E wants to assure customers that SDG&E employees carry proper identification when called out to any job. The company also does not randomly call or text customers asking for social security numbers or other information.

Customers should verify the employee's proper uniform and identification before letting anyone in the home or on their property.

Here are some tips to help customers identify SDG&E employees:

* Be vigilant and question anyone who presents themselves as a representative of the utility.

* SDG&E workers who perform in-home appliance checks and service gas and electric meters 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 SDG&E employees will be in uniform with a company logo and carry an official employee badge. Most field employees also drive a company vehicle.

* Most of the time a SDG&E employee visits a home or business in response to a service request. If no one scheduled an appointment, call SDG&E before allowing anyone inside the home or property

* Never leave the house unlocked and unattended. SDG&E does not ask customers to leave their homes unattended.

* To verify the authenticity of anyone claiming to be a representative of SDG&E, customers are encouraged to ask for proper identification or call the utility.

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