Scams: Another Side Effect of Coronavirus
PSE&G warns customers of scammers taking advantage during times of crisis
(NEWARK, N.J. – April 8, 2020) — Public Service Electric & Gas, New Jersey’s largest utility, is more committed than ever to the health and safety of its customers. A heightened sense of uncertainty throughout the world is emboldening phone scammers who impersonate utility employees and PSE&G urges customers to know the facts and protect themselves.
“In times like these, every challenge our households face is magnified,” said Fred Daum, executive director, PSE&G Customer Operations. “The heightened anxiety we’re feeling is perfect for scammers, whose preferred tactic is to make people panic at the thought of getting their power shut off. That’s why it’s important for people to know that, during this crisis, PSE&G is not shutting off power for non-payment due to financial burdens.”
Phone scammers typically tell their potential victims that they must pay an overdue bill or face immediate shut off of electricity. PSE&G is reminding its customers that, in the interest of protecting public health, shut-offs of electric service for non-payment have been temporarily suspended.
As another reminder, PSE&G does not accept payment via prepaid gift cards, wire transfers or cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin.
What to look out for
- You receive a call from what looks like PSE&G on your caller ID.
- The caller threatens to shut off your service and demands an immediate payment by cash, pre-paid card, wire transfer or Bitcoin.
- The caller informs you that you require a new meter and demands a deposit before the installation can occur (PSE&G does not require a deposit for a new meter installation).
- You're given a phone number to call back that, when called, may sound similar to PSE&G’s automated call system.
- The caller alerts you that, because of your good bill-paying history, you’re eligible for a bill reduction or discount but you must provide information first.
What PSE&G will and won’t discuss over the phone
- A genuine PSE&G representative will ask to speak to the account owner.
- If that person is available, the representative will explain why they are calling and provide the account name, address and current balance.
- If the account owner 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 1-800-436-PSEG (7734).
For more information on various payment scams in the PSE&G service area and around the country, visit www.pseg.com/scamalert.
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Public Service Electric and Gas Co. (PSE&G) is New Jersey’s oldest and largest gas and electric delivery public utility, serving three-quarters of the state’s population. PSE&G is the winner of the ReliabilityOne Award for superior electric system reliability in the Mid-Atlantic region. PSE&G is a subsidiary of Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. (PSEG) (NYSE:PEG), a diversified energy company. PSEG has been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for North America for 12 consecutive years (www.pseg.com).