PSEG Long Island is urging its customers to be alert to a payment scam targeting utility customers across the country. The utility reminds its residential and commercial customers to be aware of scams attempting to steal money and personal information by threatening to have electric service shut off.
With this scam, an individual pretending to be a PSEG Long Island employee calls a customer and tells them that without immediate payment via a pre-paid card, specifically a Green Dot card, their service will be shut off. Customers are then given a telephone number to call back after they have purchased the card. When customers call that number, they hear interactive voice response prompts that imitate those they would hear when calling the authentic PSEG Long Island customer service or Business Solutions lines. When a fake representative answers the line, they ask for the number on the back of the pre-paid card. After the scammers have that number, they can take the money from the card—usually within a matter of minutes.
“If you receive a call from anyone demanding immediate payment, do not give them any personal or account information, hang up the phone and call PSEG Long Island at 800-490-0025,” said Dan Eichhorn, vice president, customer services, PSEG Long Island.
The best way to protect against these scams is for customers to be cautious when contacted by someone threatening service termination if they do not receive immediate payment via a prepaid credit card. PSEG Long Island offers a number of payment options, and would never require a customer to use one specific type of payment. Termination of service is a last resort and PSEG Long Island alerts customers in advance through messages on bills, letters and phone calls. If a customer is behind on their bill, they can call PSEG Long Island customer service at 800-490-0025 to discuss arranging a payment plan. It is also smart for customers to know what they owe on their account so they are not caught off guard when demanded to make a payment by a scammer. Customers can check their balance at any time from PSEG Long Island’s mobile enabled My Account portal at www.psegliny.com/account.
PSEG Long Island is working with local and national 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.