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Utility Scams


Utility imposter scams can happen in-person or over the phone and come in a lot of shapes and sizes. Contact from your gas, electric, or water company threatening to immediately turn off your service is probably a scam.

How it might happen...


Consumers should be wary of their caller ID as scammers will “spoof” the number they are calling from, which causes the customer’s phone to display a false caller ID. Often, the scammer will “spoof” a local number, perhaps even using the utility’s standard customer service number.

Late payments, new meters, etc.

The scammer may call and claim the consumer needs a new meter or they are late on their payments. Consumers have also reported seeing scammers dressed like a representative of a utility company, going door-to-door and demanding payment in prepaid cards or else power would be shut off.

Red Flags of a Utility Scam

  • Asking for unusual forms of payment. No real utility company will ever ask a consumer to pay with anything other than direct forms of payment like a bank account or credit card. If someone claiming to be a utility says you must pay in an uncommon form of payment, it’s a scam. Every time. No matter what they say.
  • Use scare tactics or threaten you into paying ASAP. Often a scammer will warn the consumer they are late with payment and if they don’t pay immediately, their services will be shut off. Utilities are required to provide consumers with at least 10 days written notice before their service is shut off and a second notice a few days prior.
  • Cold-call and ask for you to verify personal information. A cold-call is when you receive an unsolicited visit or telephone call made by someone trying to obtain payment or information for a service. If you receive a cold-call from anyone asking to verify private information like your account numbers/balances, Social Security number, date of birth, etc, hang up and directly call your utility company.

If you have any doubt, hang up!

If you have any doubt about the legitimacy of a caller, hang up immediately and call your utility’s customer service center.

Dominion Energy South Carolina: (800) 251-7234
Duke Energy Carolinas: (800) 777-9898
Duke Energy Progress: (800) 452-2777
Santee Cooper: (800) 804-7424
Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina: Visit to find the direct number of your co-op. 

If you suspect or experience a scam, notify your local law enforcement agency. 

Did you give personal or financial information to a scammer? Report it to the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs Identity Theft Unit by going to or by calling (844) TELL-DCA. 


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