CLAREMONT - Southern California Edison is warning its Claremont customers of a telephone scam, according to the city's website.

The scam demands immediate payment on bills past due or have their electric service disconnected and callers request payment be made through a PayPal, Green Dot or other prepaid cash card.

"We ask our customers to be alert to these calls that demand immediate payment and threaten service disconnection," said Henry Martinez, SCE vice president of safety, security & compliance in a statement.

"Customers suspecting a fraudulent call should ask for the caller's name, department and business phone number. If the caller refuses to provide this information, customers should terminate the call and report the incident immediately to local police or SCE at 800-655-4555."

SCE is asking customers to ask for identification when a stranger claiming to be a utility worker comes to the door.

Workers will give their phone number, department and other verification information when asked.

Mostly, customers schedule home visits and SCE will confirm appointments in writing and if there are any concerns, law enforcement and SCE officials request having the utility worker wait outside until their identity is verified.

Finally:

- An SCE employee will never ask for money in person

- Never reveal a credit card, ATM or calling card numbers or PIN to anyone

- If someone calls and requests residents to leave their residence at a specific time for a utility-related cause, call police because it could be a burglary set up by the caller

- Be suspicious of anyone who arrives at your house without an appointment asking to check an appliance, wiring, or suggesting that there may be some other electrical problem inside a residence

For more ways customers can stay safe, head to www.sce.com/safety and read the safety tips section.

wes.woods@inlandnewspapers.com 909-483-8549 or http://www.insidesocal.com/claremontnow/ or on Twitter at @ClaremontNow