Business & Real Estate

Woodland residents’ utility providers switched without consent in ‘slamming’ scheme, DA says

Some Woodland residents were victims of a fraudulent utilities scheme in which a utility provider is switched out for a different company without consent.

In a news release, the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office said the switch took place in June, when the gas and electric service providers of some residents were swapped out without customers’ authorization or knowledge.

The fraudulent scheme is referred to as “slamming,” and resulted in multiple complaints at the District Attorney’s Office.

Woodland customers were first made aware of the switch in utility companies when their old service providers sent them letters, which said they had asked to make the change – although they had not, according to the release.

None of the affected residents spoke with a door-to-door representative of the new utility company, and some were told after calling the new provider that their adult children had authorized the changes for them — but these customers had no children living at home, according to the release.

“The complexity of this unscrupulous activity makes it difficult to detect and hard to switch back,” Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig said in a prepared statement. “The best defense against becoming a victim of scams such as this is knowledge and vigilance.”

The District Attorney’s Office did not release the name of the utility company suspected of slamming Woodland residents.

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Vincent Moleski covers business and breaking news for The Bee and is a graduate student in literature at Sacramento State. He was born and raised in Sacramento and previously wrote for the university’s student newspaper, the State Hornet.