Cayce, S.C. (May 31, 2018) – Residential and small business customers are receiving another wave of scam phone calls, and SCE&G wants you to be cautious.
Customers have reported receiving phone calls from individuals pretending to be SCE&G employees. The scammers inform the customer of a fictitious past-due bill and encourage the customer to make arrangements to pay with a prepaid debit card.
Other classic elements of scams include:
- The scammer may threaten to turn a customer’s service off if a payment isn’t made immediately. Oftentimes small businesses, such as restaurants, are targeted because they can’t afford to close and feel a sense of urgency.
- The scammer may suggest a specific local store from which the customer can purchase the prepaid card. Scammers like prepaid debit cards because they don't have to show a photo ID to spend money on the cards. All they need is the number on the card.
- Scammers use the practice of caller ID "spoofing," which causes the customer's phone to display a false caller ID. Often, the scammer will "spoof" a local number, perhaps even using the utility's standard customer service number.
“Scammers are persistent and creative, and their success is based on customer fear and lack of awareness,” said Sam Dozier, vice president of customer service for SCE&G. “That’s why we’re urging customers to remember how SCE&G does business. We will never call and ask you to purchase a prepaid card from a convenience store to pay your bill. Payments are accepted online at www.sceg.com, in person at authorized payment agencies, by phone through our phone payment provider by calling 800-450-9160, by mail or at SCE&G’s business offices.”
Customers should also remember other SCE&G payment practices:
- SCE&G mails a notification to customers prior to disconnecting gas or electric service for non-payment. SCE&G also provides a courtesy call reminding the customer of the amount due and due date.
- SCE&G does not prescribe or require specific payment methods. Customers may choose from a number of payment methods by visiting www.sceg.com/paying-my-bill.
- SCE&G does not ask customers to meet in person to provide payment.
According to the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs, 70 percent of the top scams in South Carolina during April were imposter scams. Customers can report scams to Consumer Affairs by calling 844-835-5322 or visiting www.consumer.sc.gov.
South Carolina Electric & Gas Company is a regulated public utility engaged in the generation, transmission, distribution and sale of electricity to approximately 723,000 customers in the central, southern and southwestern portions of South Carolina. The company also provides natural gas service to approximately 371,000 customers throughout the state.