Scammers targeting primarily Hispanic residents are posing as employees of PSE&G and bilking victims of substantial amounts of money, the utility said in a statement.
The fraudsters contact PSE&G customers to warn them their utilities will be shut off that day unless a payment is made using a prepaid debit card. The call is sometimes pre-recorded.
The victims are then instructed to purchase a Green Dot MoneyPack, use cash to put money on the card, and then provide the card number to the person who called them. Once the scammers have the card information, they then transfer the funds.
“We take very seriously any attempt to defraud our customers,” said Joseph A. Forline, vice president of customer solutions for PSE&G. “We are working closely with law enforcement to investigate these scams. In the meantime, we ask our customers to be wary of callers who demand immediate payment and threaten service termination. When in doubt, hang up and call PSE&G directly at the phone number listed on your bill.”
When PSE&G calls customers, it will provide specific information related to the account, such as the customer name, address, and current balance. If the caller is not providing that information, it’s likely fraudulent.
If customers feel uncomfortable and they know they have an outstanding balance that needs to be resolved, they should hang up and call PSE&G directly at 1-800-436-7734 or visit a local PSE&G Customer Service Center. Service Centers are open Monday through Friday, 8 am to 4 pm with locations listed on customer bills and online.