PSE&G is alerting its customers not to be defrauded by a scam in which 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, which has been reported across the country, involves payments using Green Dot MoneyPaks and seems to be targeting Hispanic neighborhoods in PSE&G’s service territory. 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.
How the Scam works:
- A Spanish- or English-speaking individual pretending to be a PSE&G employee calls customers saying their service would be disconnected if they do not make a payment using a prepaid debit card. In some cases, the call is prerecorded.
- Customers 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.
- Customers are advised that if they do not immediately call back and provide the MoneyPak information, their service will be turned off that day.
- Typically, after the customer provides that MoneyPak number, the scammer transfers the funds to a prepaid card, and cashes it in at an ATM.
How to Prevent the Scam:
- Know the direct telephone number and address of your local PSE&G Customer Service Center.
- Know that when PSE&G makes an outbound telephone call to customers, customer-specific information is shared with the customer. That information includes account name, address, number and current balance.
- If customers do not receive this correct information, they likely are not speaking with a bonafide PSE&G representative.
What to do if you receive such a call:
- Try to verify the validity of the number the scammer is calling from and record the number of the scammer.
- Try to verify the authenticity of the caller of the scam.
- Disconnect the call immediately after attempting to verify this information.
- Immediately check your recent PSE&G bill and find out when it was last paid.
- If you cannot determine when your last PSE&G bill was paid, contact 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 on-line at: http://www/pseg.com/centers.
- Subsequent to this, notify us at 201-41-6400