National Utility Scam Awareness Day: Stay safe with these tips

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November 15 is National Utility Scam Awareness Day, and we’re proud to join forces with more than 100 gas, electric and water companies across the country and Canada to combat scams and scammers.

Today and every day, we want to remind customers to stay alert and pay close attention when dealing with any person or interface claiming to be, or be associated, with PSEG Long Island to avoid falling victim to a scam.

Remember and share these tell-tale signs of utility scams, and know what to do if you suspect you’ve been targeted by a scammer, to keep yourself, friends and family safe.

Knowing the signs:

Scammers claiming to be from PSEG Long Island will often call or email a customer with a warning that service is going to be shut off due to delinquent bills. To rectify this, scammers them tell customers to purchase a Green Dot Money Pak pre-paid debit card or arrange for a transfer via MoneyGram. We’ll never ask our customers to take either of these actions, as we don’t accept payments by pre-paid debit cards or through MoneyGram or similar transfers.

Instead, we offer a variety of payment options to our customers, including through MyAccount, text, phone, direct pay, by mail, and others. Plus, our customers scheduled for disconnection due to nonpayment receive a written notice on their bill at least 15 days in advance.

We also ask customers to be wary of the names on their caller ID. Some scammers have discovered a way to spoof caller ID systems to display “PSEG Long Island,” when in fact the call is coming from an illegitimate service. Not sure if the call is a scam? Any customer who has doubts about the legitimacy of a call from PSEG Long Island — especially one in which payment is requested — should call us directly at 1-800-490-0025.

How scammers get your money:

Senior Man Giving Credit Card Details On The PhoneTo actually get the money after demanding a payment in full via a pre-paid debit card, scammers suggest a specific store near near the customer’s home to purchase said card. Scammers then instruct the customer to pay cash in order to put the money on the card, and then provide the number on the card. Once the customer provides the card number, the scammer will receive the funds.

When scammers demand payments via MoneyGram, they’ll ask customers to provide money from a bank account, credit card or debit card by going online, or to a specified location. The funds go into a fraudulent bank account, available for the receiver to pick up in cash.

What you can do:

Be alert, and look for the signs listed above. Never arrange payment or divulge account or personal information, including Social Security Numbers or debit or credit card information over the phone unless you are certain you are speaking to a PSEG Long Island representative.

Again, if you’re not sure whether a call is legitimate, hang up and call your local police department to report the activity, or PSEG Long Island at 1-800-490-0025.

For more tips on how to protect yourself and loved ones from utility scams, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram; and be sure to familiarize yourself with our scam page on our website.

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