Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) is warning about an uptick in telephone scams targeting customers.
PG&E says scammers are calling and threatening to shut off power if payment isn’t made.
In some areas, the number of scam attempts this year has reportedly been twice as high as it was during the same time last year.
“In the past, we’ve seen scammers demanding payment be made using a Green Dot card or Money Pack but now we’re seeing these criminals requesting payment with a gift card. This should raise a red flag,” said Kevin Cashman, PG&E Security Investigator for the North Bay and North Coast in a press release.
Recent incidents have been reported to PG&E in Marin, Sonoma, Lake, Mendocino and Humboldt counties, PG&E says, but the utility is warning all of its customers.
PG&E says other tactics include the scammers notifying customers they are eligible for a federal tax refund related to their utility bill, trying to sell services related to solar evaluation and claiming to represent PG&E initiative to sell a produce in order to gain access into the home.
PG&E offers the following tips to customers:
- PG&E 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, service request or request for personal information are encouraged to call PG&E at 1-800-743-5000.
- 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 willing to show it to you.
- If you feel threatened in any way, notify local law enforcement immediately.
Anyone who thinks they have received a scam call is asked to call PG&E at 1-800-743-5000 or visit www.pge.com/scams [pge.com].