A new utility email bill scam has been targeting customers throughout the United States, and some Southern California Edison (SCE) customers have reported receiving the suspicious looking emails that look like a bill.
The fake emails often request personal information and contain requests for immediate payment. SCE does not request immediate payment threatening service disconnection via email and advises customers to delete these suspicious emails immediately.
“SCE never emails a customer to collect or demand money for past due bills,” said Marlyn Denter, SCE’s manager of Consumer Affairs. “We are not in the business of threatening our customers with the immediate termination of service.”
This latest email scam follows a recent utility phone scam where more than 2,000 SCE customers were contacted by a person posing as a utility employee asking for immediate payment and threatening to cut off electric service. Unfortunately, more than 300 customers have fallen victim to the scam, many of them mom and pop business owners and entrepreneurs whose first language is not English.
If SCE customers receive these suspicious emails requesting personal information or immediate payment, they should take the following steps:
- Do not click on any links in the email or open any attachments.
- Do not reply to the email.
- Delete the email immediately.
SCE also recommends that customers who receive these bogus emails call the utility at 800-655-4555 for any questions or concerns about the scam. For more information on how to protect personal information, visit the Federal Trade Commission’s site.
“We ask our customers to be alert to these emails that demand immediate payment and threaten service disconnection,” said Denter.
If a customer has been victimized by this scam, they are encouraged to report it online to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force at StopFraud.gov.