The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and the Southern California Gas Company are warning customers about a scam in which Social Security numbers from victims are collected by convincing them that President Obama will pay their utility bills.
Suspects go door to door, send texts and even use social media, telling their targets that Obama is offering a special program of bill credits or direct payment of bills. The victims must provide their Social Security number, and are given a bank routing number to pay the bills with. However, the number is fraudulent and bills are not paid.
Officials at both the LADWP and SoCal Gas say that all employees wear identification badges, and do not collect payments door to door, nor do they call or text to request Social Security numbers.
Customers are warned not to give out personal information to strangers, especially Social Security numbers, which are used by thieves to create false credit card accounts and identities.
DWP customers who believe they have been victimized by the scam should call 800-DIAL-DWP (800-342-5397).
To verify the authenticity of anyone claiming to be a representative of SoCal Gas, customers should ask for proper identification or call the utility at
(800) 427-2200, or (800) 342-4545.
City News Service contributed to this story.