NEWARK, N.J., May 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Public Service Electric and Gas Co. (PSE&G) is alerting its customers about a nationwide phony bill payment program that promises to credit or pay utility bills in exchange for personal information, including social security numbers. The scam, which has been reported in a number of states, claims that President Barack Obama is providing credits or applying payments to utility bills.
Here's how the scam works:
- Someone calls a utility customer and tells them that the federal government has a program to pay utility bills on a one-time basis.
- Customers are asked to provide their social security numbers to apply for the program.
- The scammers then give customers a phony federal reserve bank routing number to use to receive the credit or bill payment. Some PSE&G customers have reported that they entered the false information, then called the company to verify that the payment was made by the government on their behalf.
- According to reports, the scammers are also emailing, texting and using social media to reach customers.
Customers should be assured that to help protect the security of PSE&G accounts, PSE&G will not contact customers to request their social security number, as well as username or password for customers who use online account services, such as PSE&G's myAccount.
What to do if you are contacted:
- If you receive a phone call, email or other communication purporting to be from PSE&G requesting your social security number, username or password, please do not provide it. Nor should you click on any links or respond in any manner.
- Send an email to PSE&G's security department at PSEG-BAandR@pseg.com with details about what occurred.
- When PSE&G makes an outbound phone call to customers, automated or manually, the caller ID will identify the call as coming from PSE&G. The PSE&G representative will ask appropriate security questions and provide predetermined information to confirm customer identity. If customers do not receive these pieces of information, they likely are not speaking with a PSE&G representative. If customers feel uncomfortable and they know they have an outstanding balance that needs to be resolved, they should hang up and call PSE&G directly at 1-800-436-7734 or visit a local PSE&G Customer Service Center. Service Centers are open Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM with locations listed on customer bills. Addresses also are available online at: http://www.pseg.com/centers.
- Customers who have doubts about the legitimacy of any call from PSE&G, especially one in which payment is requested, should call the utility directly.
Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) is New Jersey's oldest and largest regulated gas and electric delivery utility, serving nearly three-quarters of the state's population. PSE&G is the winner of the ReliabilityOne Award for superior electric system reliability. PSE&G is a subsidiary of Public Service Enterprise Group Incorporated (PSEG) (NYSE: PEG), a diversified energy company (www.pseg.com).
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SOURCE Public Service Electric & Gas Company (PSE&G)