We have received several phone calls advising us of a solicitor asking to see PG and E bills.
One of our callers stated the person didn’t really have company identification, just two older looking crumpled business cards. Another caller described the individual as a young looking male wearing a light shirt and pants. The male was about 5’ 4” and weighed around 125 with brown hair that was spiked up with gel.
The solicitor claims to be from/ working on the behalf of PG and E and says that they can save people money on their bill. The person then asks to see the bill and wants account number, names, address, and other contact information. Based on the information we have, the solicitor may be trying something known as a supplier switch.
Because some customers in certain states can change their electric or natural gas suppliers (which would change their rates) some of those suppliers hire solicitors to recruit new customers. The scam portion kicks in if the suppliers promise low rates then fail to mention the rate is introductory, skyrocketing rates, and long term contracts with high cancellation fees. Even if the solicitor only walks away with a name, address, and utility account number they could illegally switch your providers without your consent.
In Winters, solicitors are required to present themselves at City hall and fill out paperwork (contact information, business license, insurance etc). The solicitor is then sent to the Police Department where we photograph them and issue a bright neon orange badge with their photo, company name, and expiration date. If they don’t have this, they have not completed their process and are operating illegally in the City in violation of our solicitor ordinance.
If you would like to report a solicitor please call our 24 hour Dispatch center at 530-795-4561. The Officer who is dispatched can contact them, evaluate if they are a part of a scam, and advise them of the rules for solicitors in Winters.
More information on utility scams can be found at AARP