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Posted on: September 14, 2022

Be Aware of Ongoing Utility Bill Scams

Utility Bill Scam Alert - Don't be a Victim

With many utility shutoff and disconnection moratoriums ending or soon coming to an end, residents and businesses should stay alert for increased utility bill phone scams.

Scammers are taking advantage of fears surrounding possible disconnections, shutoffs, late fees, and overdue balances. Small businesses may be particularly vulnerable to fake threats because of worries about losing their business if a service or utility connection is interrupted or shut off completely.

Utility services are provided to Chino Hills residents and businesses by the following:

  • Electric - Southern California Edison (SCE)
  • Gas – SoCalGas
  • Trash Services – Waste Management (WM)
  • Water and Sewer Services – City of Chino Hills

To avoid being scammed, utility customers should remember:

  • You should know which payment method you have established in advance with each utility provider.
  • Utility providers will never phone you to threaten immediate disconnection and demand immediate payment.
  • Although some utilities accept payments by phone, utility providers will never phone you personally to ask for your credit card or account information.
  • Utility providers do not accept prepaid cash cards or bitcoins.
  • Waste Management, SoCalGas, and SCE do not accept payments through third-party mobile apps such as PayPal, Venmo, or Zelle.
  • The City of Chino Hills does have an authorized way for users to pay online using PayPal or Venmo, but only by paying through the online Chino Hills BillPay system. The City of Chino Hills will never send you a PayPal or Venmo link requesting payment or ask you to pay in a method you did not set up in advance through your online BillPay account.
  • Utility provider field employees will never request nor accept in-person payment.
  • Fraudulent operations are not limited to phone calls, scammers may try to reach you via email, text message, or even a visit at your door.

Be aware that scammers can disguise their true phone numbers and caller ID display to show a local utility company’s name or number when they call. If you have doubts about an incoming call from a utility provider, hang up and call the customer service number listed on your recent utility bill directly to confirm. If you have doubts about a text message or email containing a hyperlink to pay your bill, do not open it or click the link and instead go to the utility website directly.

Review the different ways to pay for each service provider below:

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