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. 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.
PSE&G never requires customers to use one specific type of payment. If a caller insists on the purchase of a prepaid card to pay a bill, it’s a scam. When in doubt, hang up and call the phone number listed on the PSE&G 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 at www.utilitiesunited.org.