PSEG Long Island is raising awareness for Utility Scam Awareness Day by teaching customers the tell tale signs of utility scam.
PSEG Long Island said they warn against scammers pretending to be PSEG Long Island or prominent area utilities, and threatening to turn off service for nonpayment. They said Utility Scam Awareness Day is Nov. 16 this year, and PSEG Long Island urges customers to understand scammers’ tactics and do the right thing if confronted with a demand for payment.
“The holiday season is here, a time when many households are feeling the additional stresses of shopping for gifts, preparing special feasts and welcoming visiting relatives. It’s prime time for scammers, who create the impression of an urgent problem in the hopes that your panic will prevent you from seeing all the clues that they’re not who they appear to be,” said Lou DeBrino, PSEG Long Island’s vice president of Customer Services.
PSEG Long Island’s media relation’s team said more than 1,800 scam calls have been reported to PSEG Long Island so far in 2022. They said many of these scammers are demanding immediate payment via web-based electronic payment services. PSEG Long Island said they do not accept external, web-based electronic payment services as a method of payment.
“PSEG Long Island wants customers to know the signs of a scam, take a moment to think, and then contact us directly using the phone number on their bill if they’re still not sure, said Debrino”
There are many ways for scammers to impersonate PSEG Long Island officials who threaten to shut off power immediately unless payments are made. PSEG Long Island said many scammers use phone “spoofing” technology to make their number display on your phone as “PSEG Long Island.” PSEG Long Island will never request that customers use one specific method of payment.
Scammers typically want their victims to transfer money via a web-based electronic payment service, a prepaid debit card, or even Bit coin, sometimes asking people to buy a prepaid card at the nearest convenience store and then to read them the PIN over the phone.
PSEG Long Island does not accept web-based electronic payment services, prepaid debit cards or Bit coin as payment. Sometimes phone scammers will demand a deposit for a priority meter installation. PSEG Long Island does not require a deposit for meter installations.
Some scammers purchase web domains that closely resemble the actual URL of a utility and create a fraudulent replica of the legitimate website. Their plan is to dupe users who click on these fake sites via search results, or type in an inaccurate web address. Once on the spoofed site, a visitor is presented a number of bill payment options, all pointing back to an outside bill pay site.
Customers should also know what PSEG Long Island will and won’t discuss over the phone. A genuine PSEG Long Island representative will ask to speak to the Customer of Record. If that person is available, the representative will explain why they are calling and provide the account name, address and current balance. If the person on the phone does not provide the correct information, it is likely the customer is not speaking with a PSEG Long Island representative.
For more information on various payment scams reported in the PSEG Long Island service area and around the country, visit TinyURL.com/2sankhte.