Summer of Scams: Learn the signs of a utility scam

Just like the summer itself, scammers are turning up the heat, pretending to be PSE&G or impersonating prominent area utilities, and threatening to turn off service for nonpayment. Take some time to learn scammers’ tactics. And remember, you can always get the truth from the real PSE&G at 800-436-PSEG (7734).

Signs of potential scam activity:

  • Threats to disconnect: Scammers may aggressively tell you your utility bill is past due and service will be disconnected if a payment is not made  usually within an hour.
  • Request for immediate payment: Scammers may instruct you to purchase a prepaid card, a gift card or Bitcoin, and then to call them back to make a phone payment. They may request that use of a payment app to make an online payment, or even give instructions for an in-person meeting. The scammer may call back to ask for the payment to be resubmitted due to an “error” with the amount.
  • In person-demands: Scammers may arrive at a home or business, flash a fake ID and/or claim to be a utility collection representative. The impostors may wear “uniforms” or affix false company signs to their vehicles. The scammers generally ask for personal information or offer discounts, which a real PSE&G representative would not do.
  • Request for card information: The scammer may ask you for the prepaid card’s number or gift-card PIN, which grants the scammer instant access to the card’s funds.

Protect yourself against scams:

  • Be alert to the telltale signs of a scam: someone asking by telephone or email for payment in pre-paid debit cards or fund transfer app, or to send money to an out-of-state address. 
  • Never arrange payment or provide account or personal information, including Social Security numbers or debit/credit card information, over the telephone unless you are certain you are speaking to a PSE&G representative. 
  • Customers should also know what PSE&G will and won’t discuss over the phone. A real PSE&G representative will ask to speak to the “Customer of Record.” 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, it is likely you are not speaking with a PSE&G representative. 
  • If the “Customer of Record” is not available, the PSE&G representative will not discuss the account at all and ask that a message be left for the “Customer of Record” to call 1-800-357-2262.
  • If you have doubts about the legitimacy of a call or an email — especially one in which payment is requested — call PSE&G directly at 1-800-436-PSEG (7734)

Print our scam awareness sheet and share with your loved ones to help protect them against scammers.

Rebecca Mazzarella, Lead Writer - PSE&G

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