LOS ANGELES - Southern California Gas Co. warned customers Thursday to be aware of a payment scam in which customers of another utility have been contacted by phone and instructed to pay their energy bill with a pre-paid cash card or face immediate termination of service.

The fraudulent activity has been directed at some customers of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. There are no indications that SoCalGas customers have been targeted at this point, according to Gas Co. spokeswoman Denise King.

LADWP customers have reported that callers misrepresenting themselves as utility employees threaten to turn off electric and water service if payment is not made that day by purchasing a pre-pay cash card. They are then directed to another phone number where information is then obtained from the card and the cash value is removed.

"Although there are no reports of SoCalGas customers being a victim of this fraudulent activity, we want to alert our customers in an effort to prevent them from becoming potential victims," said Michael Schneider, vice president of customer operations at SoCalGas. "We advise customers to be alert and not to provide any type of financial information if they receive a call from a suspicious company."

The utility provides notification in writing before service is shut off for non-payment.

If customers receive a phone call that makes them feel uncomfortable, they should hang up and call SoCalGas at 1-800-427-2200, or 1-800-342-4545 in Spanish, or contact local authorities to file a report.