(Newark, N.J. – Nov. 15, 2017) Thousands of utility customers across North America lose millions of dollars to scams each year. To combat the scammers, Public Service Electric and Gas Co. (PSE&G), New Jersey’s largest utility, has joined forces with more than 100 electric, water and natural gas utilities to raise awareness, educate and protect people against scams. In recognition of “Utility Scam Awareness Day,” PSE&G reminds customers to stay alert to scams – particularly callers demanding immediate bill payment with a prepaid card.
How the most common payment scam works:
- Someone pretending to be a utility employee calls and threatens to shut off service unless they receive immediate payment via a prepaid card. The Caller ID may even mimic PSE&G’s customer service number.
- Victims are given a phony phone number to call back after they purchase the card. When they call that number, they may hear voice response prompts that mimic those they would hear when calling the real PSE&G customer service line.
- A fake representative asks for the numbers on the card or receipt. Scammers take the money from the card – usually within a matter of minutes.
“If a caller insists that you purchase a prepaid card to pay a bill, it’s a scam,” said Greg Dunlap, PSE&G vice president of customer operations. “PSE&G would never require a customer to use one specific type of payment. When in doubt, hang up and call us at the phone number listed on our website or your bill.”
Report all scam attempts by calling your utility and local police department, and file a complaint with the FTC at www.ftc.gov/complaint. More information about how to protect against common scams is available www.utilitiesunited.org.
Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) is New Jersey’s oldest and largest regulated gas and electric delivery utility, serving nearly three-quarters of the state’s population. PSE&G is the winner of the ReliabilityOne Award for superior electric system reliability. PSE&G is a subsidiary of Public Service Enterprise Group Incorporated (PSEG) (NYSE:PEG), a diversified energy company.
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