WEST ORANGE, NJ — The Township of West Orange wants residents to be aware of a warning issued by Public Service Electric & Gas (PSE&G) company regarding a scam that could potentially affect them as customers.
The township shared a statement issued by PSE&G on Wednesday notifying New Jersey municipalities that scammers recently spoofed one of the company’s phone numbers in an attempt to obtain personal information. According to the company’s statement, PSE&G began receiving a small number of inquiries last, with calls escalating during business hours on Wednesday.
Many of the callers were returning missed calls that the company said appear to have been made from a PSE&G phone number.
“If you receive an unexpected call from PSE&G in the next few days, particularly if you are not a PSE&G customer, we encourage you to hang up as it may be a scammer,” said Fred Daum, PSE&G’s executive director of customer operations. “If you have pending business with us, such as an appointment or collection notice, call us back on the number provided on your bill or call our customer service line, 800-436-PSEG (7734) or contact us on our website through MyAccount.”
According to PSE&G, a scammer pretending to work for the company will often request personal data such as credit card information or account passwords.
“No one should give out this type of personal information,” the company said in its scam alert this week. “When a customer calls PSE&G to conduct account business, PSE&G has numerous secure methods for verifying customer information.
“Callers reported that today’s scammers have asked for personal information to conduct a meter reading or to add discounts on the PSE&G bill, or for information related to debit and credit cards on file. Such tactics are known utility scams, the most popular of which is a demand for immediate payment to avoid service termination.”
PSE&G also noted that it alerts customers prior to terminating service through messages on their bill, letters and phone calls.
“PSE&G would never demand a specific type of payment nor threaten immediate service termination,” Wednesday’s alert stated. “While there are many ways to pay a PSE&G bill, the utility only accepts credit card and prepaid card payments through Western Union Speedpay, which charges a $3.95 processing fee.”
All scam attempts should be reported by calling the utility and the local police department while also filing a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov/complaint. More information about scams is available at www.utilitiesunited.org or by clicking HERE.