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Published on January 28th, 2014 | by Zamná Ávila

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Utility Billing Scam

The Long Beach Police Department is warning the community and business owners about a telephone scam targeting Southern California Edison customers.

In recent weeks, Long Beach businesses, specifically restaurant owners, have reported receiving telephone calls from individuals who claim to be from Southern California Edison demanding payment of a past due bill.  The caller informs the business owner it’s imperative to pay their bill immediately or risk having their electric service shutoff.  The caller will direct the owner to purchase pre-paid cash cards known as, “Green Dot Money Paks.”  Once purchased, the victim is instructed to call the telephone number previously given, and to scratch off and provide the serial number to the “representative.”

If you should receive a call from someone who claims to be from Southern California Edison, please keep in mind the following tips to avoid becoming a fraud victim:

  • · SCE does not ask for payments to be loaded on pre-paid cash cards.
  • · Never disclose to anyone, a credit, debit, pre-paid card or PIN number.
  • · Remember, anyone who has the serial number on a Green Dot Card has access to the funds loaded on the card. 
  • · If you suspect a scam, hang up and contact SCE at 800-655-4555

The utility billing scam is among a number of domestic and international widespread fraud-related schemes that occur daily throughout the United States.  If a resident should sustain a monetary loss, they may report it to the Police Department.

Any questions concerning fraud schemes, please call the Long Beach Police Department, Forgery/Fraud Detail at (562) 570-7330 or visit http://www.lacrimestoppers.org/.

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