Beware of callers pretending to be utility companies, SLO police say

The Associated Press

The San Luis Obispo Police Department is warning people about a utility company scam after seeing an increase in fraud reports over the past several weeks.

According to a news release issued Monday, victims reported that they received a call from someone who said they were a utility representative.

The caller then told the victims that their utility payment was late and asked for an immediate payment to avoid having the utility shut off, the department said. The caller asked for payment using a Green Dot prepaid debit card or Visa-type gift card.

If you receive a call like this, remember:

▪  Utility companies will never ask customers to use a gift card to make a payment. Callers ask for gift cards to avoid being tracked by investigators, police said.

▪  Utility companies typically send out delinquent notices in the mail.

▪  If you receive a call asking for payment and believe it’s a scam, hang up and call the company’s official number.

Gabby Ferreira: 805-781-7858, @Its_GabbyF