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Police, PSE&G Warn: Watch Out For Utility Scammers On Phone, At Home

Police warn about phone scammers.
Police warn about phone scammers. Photo Credit: CLIFFVIEW PILOT

PSE&G is again urging customers to be alert to scam callers who threaten to turn off electric and gas service if they’re not paid -- and for thieves posing as utility workers who come to the door to "check a problem."

“We’ve seen a significant uptick in the number of scams being reported to us by customers,” said Greg Dunlap, the utility's vice president of customer operations. “The only way to protect against these scams is for customers to be cautious when contacted by someone seeking access to their home or demanding immediate payment.

"Even one customer being cheated is one too many.”

If anyone shows up at your door seeking entry to your home, be sure to ask for identification. Or call the police.

Utility companies don't mind either, police say.

Meanwhile, scam callers have convinced victims to buy and make payments with Green Dot MoneyPak.

The Spanish- or English-speaking caller tells the customer to buy the pack 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.

The instant that happens, the caller moves the money to another card, takes out all the cash through an ATM and is gone without a trace.

As notices on the package emphasize: MoneyPak should be treated like cash and used only for approved partners.

What's more: When PSE&G calls you, they have ALL of your information right there – including your name, address, account number and current balance.

If the caller doesn't, they're trying to scam you.

If you’re not sure, the solution is easy: Hang up and call PSE&G directly: 1-800-436-7734

Or you can visit a local PSE&G Customer Service Center Center in person. They're open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

You can find a listing of local offices on your bill or here: http://www.pseg.com/centers

You can also report it to your local police department.

If you have elderly parents, please be sure to discuss this with them.

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