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'Misunderstanding' behind perceived SDG&E scam in Poway

Posted at 5:05 PM, Apr 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-16 20:06:08-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — An apparent SDG&E scam reported by a North County couple turned out to be an actual warning to evacuate, just not for them.

The power company is calling a recent interaction with a Poway family a "misunderstanding," after the family believed they had been scammed by someone posing as the company.

The Chavez family told 10News this week they received a phone call from someone saying they worked for SDG&E, telling them they needed to evacuate their home while work was being using a helicopter.

The message said, “it requires a helicopter. The helicopter is required from the FAA to have certain properties, like yourself, evacuate the home.”

ORIGINAL STORY: Family urging San Diegans to be aware of a possible new SDG&E scam

After calling SDG&E to confirm, they were told there was no work going on in their area. The family believed they had been scammed.

But it turns out, the phone call was true — for a different neighborhood.

According to SDG&E, FAA does require residents to leave their homes when work is being done in their area requiring a helicopter and special construction.

However, when the Chavez family called SDG&E, they didn't use the number the original caller provided. While their current Poway address showed no work happening in their area, their number was mistakenly registered to a previous address where work was actually scheduled.

Those in that location were advised to evacuate during the time work was being done.

Here's a link to the company's explainer to notifications regarding power pole replacement via helicopter.