“SCE” Scammers Hitting Mammoth; Don't Get Caught

Staff Writer

The Mammoth Lakes Police Department seeks to warn the public regarding the prevalence of an aggressive phone scam. MLPD has received multiple reports that involve contact via telephone as an individual posing as Southern California Edison (SCE), according to the police in a news release, Feb. 5.

The caller claims that they will disconnect your power due to non-payment if you don’t pay the bill immediately. They may ask for this in the form of a pre-paid credit card.

The most important thing to know is that SCE will never disconnect your power without first attempting to contact you many times or working with you to pay a bill and, they will not ask you to pay the bill through a pre-paid credit card or, Western Union payment at any time. SCE does not accept Green Dot of Vanilla re-loadable debit cards.

Here's what you need to know to avoid getting scammed by these losers:

If you receive a phone call from someone claiming to be SCE, the following should be considered:
• SCE will never demand immediate payment or ask you to wire money via Western Union or through a pre-paid credit card to prevent your electricity from being shut off. They will never require you to use a specific or single form of payment and does not accept Green Dot or Vanilla reloadable debit cards.
• Be vigilant in verifying the identity and affiliation of the person contacting you, even if your caller ID indicates the phone call is from SCE. You can verify by calling SCE at 1-800-655-4555.
• Scams work best when the victim doesn’t have time to think through things. The caller may seem believable and rush you. Take your time, don’t panic, and don’t pay. There is no situation where you should give your payment or personal information to an unsolicited caller. If you receive this or a similar call and have questions about whether it is a scam, notify law enforcement immediately and don’t make any payments or other concessions prior to doing so.

Anyone with information about these phone calls is encouraged to call MLPD or report a tip on our website. The phone number is 760-934-2011 or go to http://www.j.mammothlakespd.org/ for more information.