Police Investigating Apparent Utility Scammers

LA MESA -- Police are investigating an apparent scam in which people impersonating utility workers attempt to extort money directly from San Diego Gas & Electric customers.

La Mesa police said that that over the past week, they have received two reports from local businesses that were called by a person claiming to work for the power company and threatened to turn off the power unless payment information was provided immediately. In both cases the business owners refused.

SDG&E clarifies on their website: “The company assures customers that SDG&E does not proactively contact them and ask for credit card information over the phone. SDG&E customers should not provide any financial information by phone unless they have initiated the conversation. SDG&E provides past due notices in writing before service is shut-off for non-payment. Additionally, all SDG&E employees on company business are required to carry a photo ID badge.

If customers receive a phone call that makes them feel uncomfortable, and they know they have an outstanding balance that needs to be resolved, they should hang up and call SDG&E directly at 1-800-411-7343.” If you believe you have been a victim of a scam, contact the La Mesa Police Department promptly at (619) 667-1400.
Traffic Information: Teen Safe Driving: How to Talk to Your Teen About Safe Driving. First and foremost, don't delay this important conversation with your teen. Research shows that many parents delay talking about driving safety until their children are "permit age" (generally 15) much later than they talk to them about other issues like smoking, drugs, sex. Given the potential deadliness of unsafe driving, parents should initiate the dialogue about safe driving sooner. Parents should begin a conversation by the junior high years and maintain an ongoing dialogue. Tee it up as a discussion, not a lecture. Here are some tips for starting this discussion:
  Celebrate the accomplishment of getting a drivers license. Getting a license is a big step in the life of a teen; seize the opportunity to acknowledge this accomplishment and your teen's growing independence, while pointing out the responsibility that comes with the privilege of driving.
Don't stop talking about driving once they have their licenses. Don't succumb to the "well, you just have to let them go and hope you raised them right" philosophy of parenting once they are actually on the road. Find ways to keep the conversation active, especially during the first critical months after they begin to drive on their own.
Make your talks a dialogue about driving. Remember: teens are excited about driving - it's a fun topic for them. So don't turn your talks into lectures; instead, make them open dialogues that show you understand the positive side of getting behind the wheel, and let your teens share their views and experiences at the same time.
Speak to their desire to be smart. As we have learned in our research, being a "safe driver" is not something teens aspire to become. Smart driving, on the other hand, combines skill and safety, and is something teens can attain.
Be Parental. Express Your Authority. Your teens want to know your values and expect you to provide structure for them. They need you to be a parent, not another friend. Provide guidelines that you require they follow and consistently enforce your guidelines. If your teen violates your guidelines, deliver on the consequences! Though taking away the driving privilege for a period of time might not be convenient for you, it might end up saving your teen's life.
  Crime Prevention/Emergency Preparedness: While most people are spending their time during the holidays enjoying their friends and family, thieves are on the prowl for unsuspecting victims. By following a few simple rules, you will reduce your chances of becoming a victim.

While you are out shopping, be aware of your surroundings. Keep an eye on anyone hovering around you or following too closely. If possible, take only the personal items you need for that outing. Con artists often take advantage of people’s generosity in order to scam them out of their hard-earned cash. Only donate to organizations that you know to be legitimate and refrain from making impulsive cash contributions. Never store holiday gifts in your car.

During a shopping trip, keep purchases in your trunk or covered cargo area. Move your vehicle to another part of the parking lot before returning to the store or mall. Park in a well-lit lot and ask a security guard to accompany you to your car if it is dark outside or the lot is deserted. Don’t talk on your cell phone or use headphones while walking to and from your car. Once you are in your car, leave the parking lot immediately. Being distracted can make you a prime target for an opportunist. Immediately report suspicious and criminal activity to the La Mesa Police by calling the 24-hour non-emergency line at (619) 667-1400 or by dialing 9-1-1.
Department Information:
Help solve a cold Homicide case: http://www.cityoflamesa.com/DocumentView.aspx?DID=2487

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Tags: Crime, La Mesa Today, La Mesa crime, Weekly Crime Report

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