PSEG Long Island has noticed a lot more reports coming on phone scammers who pretend to be a representative of the utility and threaten to shut off a customer’s power if they don’t pay up.
A scammers’ main weapon is to throw you off balance.
“Phone scammers want their targets to panic so they don’t think clearly,” said Rick Walden, vice president of customer operations, PSEG Long Island. “If you receive a call about a past-due bill, don’t panic. Look for signs that it may not be legitimate, such as a request for a specific payment type or an imminent threat of disconnection.”
Walden said that representatives from PSEG Long Island will not demand immediate payment and always offer options on how to pay a bill. Prepaid debit cards or bitcoin are not part of those options.
“Additionally, if a customer is scheduled for disconnection due to nonpayment, they will receive written notice on their bill at least 10 days in advance,” he explained.
Phone scammers have adapted new technology that can spoof other phone numbers, making it look like they are calling form a local number no matter where they’re located and can even modify their caller ID to read “PSEG Long Island.”
More than 6,600 calls were reported to PSEG Long Island in 2019, up from 4,088 scam calls reported in 2018. In 2015, 8.2 percent of the total number of reported calls resulted in customers losing their money. Since 2018, that number is down to 5 percent. The company attributed that drop to their awareness campaigns.
PSEG Long Isalnd released a list of things to look for to identify if a call is a scam:
- You receive a call from what looks like PSEG Long Island on your caller ID
- The caller threatens to shut off your service and demands an immediate payment by pre-paid card, wire transfer or bitcoin.
- The caller informs you that you require a new meter and demands a deposit before the installation can occur.
- You're given a phone number to call back that, when called, may sound similar to PSEG Long Island’s automated call system.
- PSEG Long Island will never ask for a pre-paid card, wire transfer or bitcoin. Scammers ask for them because they are untraceable.
What to do:
- Hang up. Do not provide any personal or account information
- Call PSEG Long Island at 1-800-490-0025. Never call any number the scammer gives you
What PSEG Long Island will and won’t discuss over the phone:
- A genuine PSEG Long Island representative will ask to speak to the Customer of Record
- If that person is available, the representative will explain why they are calling and provide the account name, address and current balance
- If the Customer of Record is not available, the PSEG Long Island representative will not discuss the account at all and ask that a message be left for the Customer of Record to call 1-800-490-0025
PSEG Long Island also cautions customers to beware of scam emails that appear to be bills from the utility. These emails request personal information that could lead to identity theft.
PSEG Long Island does not ask customers to provide personal information online without first logging into the My Account section of the website. Never provide any personal information requested by email. Do not download any attachments, and do not click on any links in the email. Instead, open a browser window, visit www.psegliny.com and log into My Account to get accurate account information, or call PSEG Long Island customer service.
Any customer who has doubts about the legitimacy of a call or email — especially one in which payment is requested — should call the PSEG Long Island directly at 1-800-490-0025 or visit a PSEG Long Island Customer Service Center. Service Centers are open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., with locations listed on customer bills and
For more information on various payment scams in the PSEG Long Island service area and around the country, visit www.psegliny.com/scam.