The summer of scams: discover the telltale signs

PSE&G urges customers to think twice if someone threatens to immediately cut off their power

NEWARK, NJ –News Direct– Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG)

NEWARK, NJ, August 1, 2022 /3BL Media/ — Much like the summer itself, scammers are ramping up the heat, impersonating PSE&G or impersonating leading utilities and threatening to disable service for non-payment. PSE&G urges customers to understand scammers’ tactics and do the right thing if they are faced with a demand for payment: get the truth from the real PSE&G at 800-436-PSEG (7734).

“Protecting our customers is a top priority. It is extremely important that we continue to raise awareness and educate customers on how to spot and stop potential scams,” said Jane Bergen, Billing Manager, Customer Care for PSE&G. “Scammers continue to adapt and develop increasingly sophisticated tactics to take advantage of our customers.”

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, scammers have increased calling, texting, emailing and in-person tactics, and they continue to contact utility customers to demand immediate payment to avoid disconnection from the service. PSE&G would not send a single notification to a customer within an hour of a service disconnect. Additionally, the company would not require payment with a prepaid debit card, gift card, any form of cryptocurrency, or third-party digital payment through money transfer apps. PSE&G offers a variety of payment options and would never require a specific type of payment.

Signs of potential fraudulent activity:

  • Disconnection threat: Scammers can aggressively tell the customer that their utility bill is overdue and that service will be disconnected if a payment is not made usually in less than an hour.

  • Request for immediate payment: Scammers may ask the customer to purchase a prepaid card, gift card, or even Bitcoin, then call them back to make a payment over the phone. They can ask the customer to use a payment app to make an online payment, or even give instructions for an in-person meeting. Many times after the customer has made the first payment, the scammer will call back to request that the payment be resubmitted due to an error in the amount. The scammer refers to a new amount and claims that the original payment will be refunded.

  • In person-requests: Scammers may walk into a home or business, show a fake ID, and/or pretend to be a utility collection representative. Imposters may wear “uniforms” or affix fake company signs to their vehicles. Scammers usually ask for personal information or offer discounts, which a real PSE&G representative would not do.

  • Map information request: If a customer calls back with the requested information, the scammer asks for the prepaid card number or gift card PIN, giving the scammer instant access to the card’s funds, and the victim’s money is gone.

Protect yourself against scams:

  • Watch for the telltale sign of a scam: someone requesting payment by phone or email using a prepaid debit card or money transfer app, or to send money to an address outside of the state.

  • Never arrange payment or provide account or personal information, including social security numbers or debit/credit card information, over the phone unless you are sure you are speaking to a representative of PSE&G.

  • Clients should also know what PSE&G will or will not discuss over the phone. A genuine PSE&G representative will ask to speak to the “official customer”. If that person is available, the representative will explain why they are calling and provide the account name, address, and current balance. If the person on the phone does not provide the correct information, the customer is likely not speaking with a PSE&G representative.

  • If the “registered customer” is not available, the PSE&G representative will not discuss the account at all and request that a message be left for the “registered customer” to call 1-800-357-2262.

  • If customers have any doubts about the legitimacy of a call or email – especially one in which payment is requested – they should call PSE&G directly at 1-800-436-PSEG (7734).

For more information on scams, visit pseg.com/scamalert.

PSE&GPublic Service Electric & Gas Co. is New Jersey’s oldest and largest gas and electric utility, serving three-quarters of the state’s population, as well as one of the largest utilities public in the country. PSE&G has won the ReliabilityOne Award for superior power system reliability in the Mid-Atlantic region for 20 consecutive years. PSE&G received the 2022 ENERGY STAR® “Partner of the Year” award in the Energy Efficiency Program Execution category, and is a 2021 Customer Champion and Escalent’s Most Trusted Brand. PSE&G is a subsidiary of Public Service Enterprise Group Inc., (PSEG) (NYSE:PEG), a primarily regulated infrastructure company focused on a clean energy future and named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for America du Nord for 14 consecutive years. (www.pseg.com).

Discover additional media content and other ESG stories from the Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) at 3blmedia.com

See source version at newsdirect.com: https://newsdirect.com/news/summer-of-scams-learn-the-telltale-signs-978007131

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