Guest comments: utility scammers
GUEST OPINION FROM PG&E —
FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — JULY 18, 2012 —
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is alerting customers to be aware of an ongoing scam that has impacted other utility customers especially as high temperatures persist across much of the country. The scam targets customers through social media, posted fliers, text messages and phone calls claiming that President Barack Obama is providing a credit or directly paying utility bills. In some cases, customers have been asked for social security numbers to apply payments to customers’ utility bills, presenting an identity theft risk.
[adrotate group=”10″] PG&E wants to remind customers that PG&E representatives would not ask for personal or banking information over the phone.
PG&E offers the following tips to help protect customers from scams:
• 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 always willing to show it to you.
• If a person claiming to be a PG&E employee has identification and you still feel uncomfortable, call PG&E’s customer service line at 1-800-PGE-5000 to verify an appointment and/or PG&E’s presence in the community. If you feel threatened in any way, you should notify local law enforcement immediately.
• Customers who have an appointment with PG&E will receive an automated call back within 48 hours prior to a scheduled visit, or they will receive a personal call from a PG&E gas service representative prior to a scheduled visit.
• 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, a service request or a request for personal information are encouraged to call PG&E at 1-800-PGE-5000.
PG&E takes security seriously and will actively work with law enforcement to help stop any scam impacting customers. Anyone who has received a call or visit similar to the one described above can report it immediately by calling PG&E at 1-800-PGE-5000.
[adrotate group=”7″] If you need assistance with paying your bill, please visit www.pge.com/financialassistance.In addition to pay plans, we have numerous programs to assist our customers with their bills, such as CARE, REACH, LIHEAP, Medical Baseline and the Energy Savings Assistance Program.
Copyright News-Ledger 2012