Southwest Gas Works to Protect Customers Through Participation in National Utility Scam Awareness Day

Category: Corporate
November 16, 2016
Natural gas and electric utility companies across the United States and Canada are joining forces to protect customers from the increasing number of scams targeting customers of utility service providers. November 16th is designated “Utilities United Against Scams Day,” and includes a week-long campaign focused on exposing the tricks scammers use to steal money from customers, and how customers can protect themselves.
The awareness campaign encourages the public to share these messages to help guard against scam activity. One common scam known in Southwest Gas service territory includes a customer receiving an unsolicited phone call from an individual who falsely claims to be a utility representative. The scammer warns that service will be disconnected if the customer fails to make a payment – usually within a short timeframe.
"We want all of our customers to be aware of this sophisticated scam activity and to know the red flags," said Denise DiTrapani, manager/Call Center and Customer Assistance. “It’s important that customers have an awareness, especially during this time of year when utility scams tend to pick up."
Red flags for scam activity
  • The scammer becomes angry and tells the customer his or her account is past due and service will be disconnected if a large payment isn’t made – usually within less than an hour.
  • The scammer instructs the customer to purchase a pre-paid debit or credit card – widely available at retail stores – then call him or her back to supposedly make a payment to Southwest Gas
  • The scammer asks the customer for the prepaid card’s receipt number and PIN number, which grants instant access to the card’s funds.
How to protect yourself
  • Southwest Gas never asks or requires a customer with a delinquent account to purchase a prepaid debit card to avoid disconnection.
  • Customers can make payments online, by phone, automatic bank draft, mail, or in person. Customers with delinquent accounts receive an advance disconnection notice with the regular monthly billing – never a single notification one hour before disconnection.
  • If you suspect someone is trying to scam you, hang up and call the local police then Southwest Gas. Never dial the phone number the scammers provide.
Southwest Gas Corporation provides natural gas service to more than 1.9 million customers in Arizona, Nevada, and California. For more information about Southwest Gas, please visit
Media Contact:
Amy Washburn