Wasn’t it just a couple weeks ago that we were talking about phone scams and the various ways people are trying to make you part with your hard earned money?
Fast forward to Friday, when the Antelope Valley Press ran a story by Reporter Julie Drake, about scammers impersonating Southern California Edison employees.
This is just another way these con artists are trying to get you to open your wallet to them, or give them your information.
It seems people are getting wise to some of the tricks used to get their money (“IRS” calls, “sheriff’s department” calls, etc.), so they’re finding news ways to appear legitimate and convince you that you need to pay them.
In this latest attempt, in which these scammers are showing up at your door, they are posing as Southern California Edison employees. Such a person showed up at a home recently, trying to convince the person who answered the door, that they could help lower their SCE bill.
That person said he wasn’t interested, but that didn’t stop the scammer. He insisted that he could help and that person should listen. When he tried to turn him away again, the scammer asked if Mr. So-and-so lived there. The person at the door said no, he used to live here, but hasn’t for about a year. That was a red flag. Since you get billed every month, SCE knows who lives there. Why would they have outdated information? As soon as the person who answered the door heard that, he attempted to end the conversation, but the scammer became aggressive in his quest to “help” out by providing information. Finally, the conversation came to an abrupt end, with the man saying “No thank you” and closing the door.
“Our employees always have their SCE ID badge on display for customers to see,” Kari Gardner, senior manager, SCE Consumer Affairs, said in the article. “And you can always call our Customer Service Department to verify unscheduled visits.”
According to the report, SCE customers have been scammed out of nearly $200,000 since January. More recently, a man showed up to a customer’s home, claiming he needed to read their meter. He threatened to shut off the resident’s electricity when access to the property was denied.
Luckily for that person, they didn’t fall for the scam. Many Edison customers have smart meters that can be read remotely, but even if not, when’s the last time a meter reader knocked on the door, asking to read the meter?
“These criminals are preying on customers’ unawareness or they’re distracted,” Edison Spokesperson Susan Cox said in the Friday report. “They’ve become very clever and very creative in how they’re trying to tap into customer’s personal information and money.”
It seems that as soon as a scam is revealed and people catch on, folks have already invented a new way to cheat you out of money.
Be aware, be vigilant in reporting these scammers. Remember, you can always call to verify whether that person is with the organization they claim to be. Don’t fall victim to them, protect your information and your money.