Utility scams are on the rise. Sometimes impostors contact PSE&G customers demanding immediate payment and threatening service shut off. Don’t be a victim…be prepared.
- Please click here to view a 25 second “scam alert” video.
- You can also visit PSE&G’s website for more information about utility scams and how you can prevent falling victim to them.
Signs of Potential Scam Activity
- Threat to disconnect: Scammers may aggressively tell the customer their 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 the customer to use cash or purchase a prepaid card, a gift card or even Bitcoin, and then to call back to make a phone payment to the utility company, or to receive instructions for an in-person meeting, supposedly at a utility customer center. Often, after the customer makes the first payment, the scammer will call back and request the payment be resubmitted due to an error with the amount. The scammer refers to a new amount and claims that the original payment will be refunded. Sometimes they will call a third time to say the payment did not go through and to resubmit again.
- 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, something authentic utility representatives do not do, or offer bogus discounts.
- Request for card information: If a customer calls back with the requested information, the caller asks the customer for the prepaid card’s number or gift card PIN, which grants the scammer instant access to the card’s funds, and the victim’s money is gone.
- Priority meter installs: Recent phone scams reported to PSE&G include demands for payment for past-due bills, discounts for good payment history or requiring a deposit for a priority meter installation. PSE&G does not require a deposit for meter installations. Often scammers will threaten to disconnect electric service if payment is not made immediately. These scammers often demand payment through a pre-paid card (e.g. Green Dot Money Pak, Vanilla Reload Card) or Bitcoin. If the victim takes the bait, the scammer provides a telephone number where a fake representative requests additional information that completes the fraudulent transaction.