Joins Utilities United Against Scams to Promote National Consumer Protection Week
(Newark, NJ – March 5, 2018) As the nation marks National Consumer Protection Week, Public Service Electric and Gas Co. (PSE&G), New Jersey’s largest utility, reminds customers to say alert to scams – particularly demands for immediate payment via a prepaid card. According to the Better Business Bureau, one scam is reported in the U.S. about every 15 minutes.
“PSE&G customers need to stay vigilant and protect themselves from aggressive, deceitful people,” said Greg Dunlap, PSE&G vice president of customer operations. “When in doubt, call PSE&G to verify the person’s affiliation and claims.”
Criminals are creative and persistent; as one scam is revealed another is in the works.
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.
Before terminating service, PSE&G alerts customers in a number of ways: messages on their bill, letters and phone calls. PSE&G would never demand a specific type of payment nor threaten immediate service termination. While there are many ways to pay a bill, the utility only accepts credit card and prepaid card payments through Western Union Speedpay, which charges a $3.95 processing fee.
Report all scam attempts by calling your utility and local police department, and file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov/complaint. More information about scams is available at www.utilitiesunited.org and https://www.pseg.com/home/customer_service/bill/scam/index.jsp.