Cayce, S.C. (March 9, 2017) – In observance of National Consumer Protection Awareness Week, SCE&G is joining utilities nationwide to warn customers about scams and provide consumer protection tips.
“Education and awareness are crucial to protecting our customers from utility scams,” said Sam Dozier, SCE&G vice president of customer service. “Scammers are persistent and determined, but so are we. We hope with more awareness, our customers will be equipped with the tools they need to protect themselves against scams.”
Common Utility Scam Elements
- Scammers target residential and business customers. Small businesses such as restaurants are prime targets for scammers because they may feel a sense urgency to avoid closing shop unexpectedly.
- Scammers use the practice of caller ID “spoofing,” which causes the customer’s phone to display a false caller ID. Often, the scammer will appear to be calling from a local number, perhaps even using the utility’s standard customer service number.
- Scammers like prepaid debit cards because a photo ID is not required. Payment can be made using only the number on the card. Scammers might suggest a specific, local store from which the customers can purchase the prepaid card.
What Customers Can Do
- SCE&G will not ask customers to purchase prepaid cards for bill payment. If someone calls and suggests that you purchase a prepaid card to pay your bill, hang up immediately.
- Never give out or confirm personal information in response to an incoming call. Scammers ask for information such as account numbers, account balances, Social Security numbers or passwords.
- Know the right ways to pay your bill. Bill payments to SCE&G are accepted online at sceg.com, by mail, at authorized payment agencies such as Walmart, through SCE&G’s phone payment provider, BillMatrix, by calling 1-800-450-9160 or at your nearest SCE&G business office.
“SCE&G may call a customer about an overdue account balance, but we will ask the customer to provide information that only the customer and SCE&G would know, to validate that the call is legitimate,” Dozier said. “If customers have any doubt about the legitimacy of a call, they should hang up immediately and call our customer service line at 1-800-251-7234.”
South Carolina Electric & Gas Company is a regulated public utility engaged in the generation, transmission, distribution and sale of electricity to approximately 709,000 customers in 24 counties in the central, southern and southwestern portions of South Carolina. The company also provides natural gas service to approximately 358,000 customers in 38 counties in the state.