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SoCalGas Warns Customers About Utility Payment Scam



             SoCalGas Warns Customers About Utility Payment Scam

PR Newswire

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 7, 2013

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern California Gas Co.
(SoCalGas) is warning customers to be aware of a payment scam involving
utility imposters demanding customers pay their energy bills with pre-paid
cash cards or face immediate termination of utility service. The fraudulent
activity has been reported in Los Angeles and at this time there are no
indications that SoCalGas customers have been targeted.

Customers of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) have reported
that individuals misrepresenting themselves as utility employees are calling
and threatening to turn off electric and water service if payment is not made
to them that day. Utility customers have been told that the payment must be
made by purchasing a pre-pay cash card, and are directed to another phone
number where information is then obtained from the card and the cash value is
removed from the card.

"Although there are no reports of SoCalGas customers being a victim of this
fraudulent activity, we want to alert our customers in an effort to prevent
them from becoming potential victims," said Michael Schneider, vice president
of customer operations at SoCalGas. "We advise customers to be alert and not
to provide any type of financial information if they receive a call from a
suspicious company."

SoCalGas customers have multiple payment options: online, pre-enrolled direct
debit, by mail, or in person at an authorized payment location.

For customers behind in their payment, the utility provides past due
notification in writing before service is shut-off for non-payment. When
customers call SoCalGas for billing inquiries, employees will always be able
to provide account information and the exact past due balance. Additionally,
all SoCalGas employees on company business are required to carry a photo ID
badge.

If customers receive a phone call that makes them feel uncomfortable, they
should hang up and call SoCalGas at 1-800-427-2200 or 1-800-342-4545 in
Spanish, or the local authorities to file a report.  

About Southern California Gas Co.
Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) has been delivering clean, safe and
reliable natural gas to its customers for more than 140 years.  It is the
nation's largest natural gas distribution utility, providing service to 20.9
million consumers connected through nearly 5.8 million meters in more than 500
communities.  The company's service territory encompasses approximately 20,000
square miles throughout central and Southern California, from Visalia to the
Mexican border.  SoCalGas is a regulated subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE:
SRE).

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110110/MM27708LOGO)

SOURCE Southern California Gas Company

Website: http://www.socalgas.com/
Contact: Denise King, Southern California Gas Co., +1-877-643-2331,
www.socalgas.com/news-room
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