PSE&G Warns Customers About Payment Scam
SMALL BUSINESSES TARGETED
NEWARK, N.J., April 11, 2013
NEWARK, N.J., April 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- PSE&G is urging its customers to
be alert to a scam that is increasingly targeting small businesses. In the
scam, which has been reported across the country, individuals misrepresenting
themselves as PSE&G employees threaten to turn off electric and gas service if
payment is not made to them that day.
The scam involves payments using Green Dot MoneyPaks. As noted on the MoneyPak
packaging and on the company's Web site (www.moneypak.com), to protect
themselves from fraud, consumers should treat the MoneyPak like cash and only
use the MoneyPak number with businesses on their approved partner list.
PSE&G has alerted its customers to similar scams in the past. In recent weeks,
however, a new tactic has emerged that is targeting small businesses. Here is
how the scam works:
oAn individual pretending to be a PSE&G employee calls a small business
customer to schedule a meter replacement, but says the work cannot be
completed until the customer's balance is paid off. In some cases,
customers are told their meter is broken and must be replaced for a hefty
oCustomers are told to purchase a Green Dot MoneyPak at a pharmacy or
convenience store, use cash to put money onto the card, and then provide
the number on the card to the person who called them.
oCustomers are advised that if they do not immediately call back and
provide the MoneyPak information, the meter replacement will not be
scheduled and their service will be turned off that day.
oWhen customers provide the MoneyPak number, they are told that someone
will be out to change their meter later that day. Meanwhile, the scammer
transfers the funds to a prepaid card and cashes it in at an ATM.
oIn many cases, customers who fall victim to the scam do not realize they
have been defrauded until no one turns up to replace the meter.
What to do if you get a call
When PSE&G makes an outbound phone call to customers, customer-specific
information is shared with the customer. That information includes the account
name, address, number and current balance. If customers do not receive this
correct information, they likely are not speaking with a PSE&G representative.
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, 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM with locations listed on
customer bills and online at: http://www.pseg.com/centers
PSE&G would never require a customer to pay using a MoneyPak as the payment
method. Any customer who has doubts about the legitimacy of any call from
PSE&G, especially one in which payment is requested, should call the utility
PSE&G is working with law enforcement to investigate the matter and is also
reaching out to its contacts at local community service agencies asking them
to spread the word to their clients. Small business customers who have
provided their email addresses were emailed to alert them of the scam.
Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) is New Jersey's oldest and
largest regulated gas and electric delivery utility, serving nearly
three-quarters of the state's population. PSE&G is the winner of the
ReliabilityOne Award for superior electric system reliability. PSE&G is a
subsidiary of Public Service Enterprise Group Incorporated (PSEG) (NYSE:PEG),
a diversified energy company (www.pseg.com).
Want to know what's new at PSEG? Go to www.pseg.com/getnews and sign up to
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SOURCE Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G)
Contact: Media, Kristine Snodgrass, 973 430 7734 or customers & others, 800
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