SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The Santa Barbara Police Department is warning residents about recent utility scams.
Recently, the Department received reporters about a scam in which a fraudulent caller claimed to be a representative from a local utility group, like Southern California Edison or SoCal Gas.
The fraudulent caller then posed as utility "collection" employee, asking for sensitive information or threatening to disconnect utility service unless a payment was made immediately using a pre-paid cash card.
The Santa Barbara Police Department says this is a scam, and to not fall victim to it.
These scams are often internationally based but use software to make it look like they are calling from an 805 area code, also known as spoofing.
The Department says a utility company will never call to demand immediate payment with the threat of service disconnection, and that it does not accept pre-paid cash cards for bill payments.
They also say to never provide your utility bill information to anyone you don't know.