PG&E is Seeing Twice the Number of Scams Targeting Customers by Phone
January 14, 2020 - Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) is alerting customers to be aware of ongoing scam phone calls with criminals threatening to shut off power if a payment is not made. There have been double the number of scam attempts, in some areas, compared to this time last year.
PG&E’s Corporate Security department has received several reports in the past few weeks regarding scammers requesting payment on past due utility bills immediately with a cash card.
In the past, scammers demanded payment be made using a Green Dot card or Money Pack but recently they’ve been requesting payment with a gift card.
Another new trend that PG&E is seeing is that the scam is becoming more detailed. Scammers include specific names of customers, and in some cases, guessing general dollar amounts owed. They are also disguising their true phone numbers with a caller ID that says “PG&E” or “Pacific Gas & Electric”.
Other scam phone call tactics include:
- Notifying residents that they are eligible for a federal tax refund related to their utility bill;
- Trying to sell services related to solar evaluation; and
- Claiming to represent a PG&E initiative to sell a product in order to gain access to their home.
PG&E offers the following tips to help protect customers from all types of potential scams:
- PG&E’s Credit Department will not ask for personal information or a credit card number over the phone. Anyone who has received such a phone call and provided credit card or checking account information should report it immediately to the credit card company or bank and law enforcement.
- Customers with concerns about the legitimacy of a call about a past due bill, service request or request for personal information are encouraged to call PG&E at 1-800-743-5000.
- Customers should always ask to see identification before allowing anyone claiming to be a PG&E representative inside their home. PG&E employees always carry their identification and are willing to show it to you.
- If you feel threatened in any way, notify local law enforcement immediately.
PG&E takes security seriously and will actively work with law enforcement to help stop any scam victimizing customers. Anyone who has received such a call can report it immediately by calling PG&E at 1-800-743-5000 or visit www.pge.com/scams.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 24,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/ and www.pge.com/en/about/newsroom/index.page.