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PSEG Long Island Warns Customers to Beware of Immediate Payment Scams

LongIsland.com

PSEG Long Island is urging its residential and business customers to be alert of ongoing payment scams.

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Uniondale, NY - October 13, 2015 - PSEG Long Island is urging its residential and business customers to be alert of ongoing payment scams. In these scams, which have been reported across the country, individuals misrepresenting themselves as PSEG Long Island employees threaten to turn off electric service if payment is not made to them that day. When in doubt or suspicious in any way, PSEG Long Island urges customers to call the number listed on their bill: 1-800-490-0025.

It is an old scam with a new twist: Now scammers are spoofing PSEG Long Island’s interactive voice response system prompt menu so that when customers call back, they are presented with an interaction that is similar to one they would if they called PSEG Long Island’s customer service line. The scammers tell customers that – in order to avoid being shut off – they must immediately pay their bill with a pre-paid card that can be purchased at many pharmacies and retail stores.

PSEG Long Island would never require a customer to pay using a pre-paid card as the payment method. Any customer who has doubts about the legitimacy of any call claiming to be from PSEG Long Island should hang up and call the utility directly.

“Scammers ask the customer to give them the number on the back of the pre-paid card and take the money from the card – usually within a matter of minutes,” said Dan Eichhorn, vice president, customer services, PSEG Long Island. “This scam has affected companies across the country. We urge our customers to always use caution when making payments.”

How the scam works

  • An individual pretending to be a PSEG Long Island employee calls customer and tells them that without immediate payment via a pre-paid card, their service will be shut off.
  • Customers are given a number to call back after they have purchased the card. When they call that number, they hear interactive voice response prompts that imitate those they would hear when calling the real PSEG Long Island customer service line.
  • When an imposter representative answers the line, they ask for the number on the back of the card. After the scammers have that number, they take the money from the card.

What to do if you get a call
When PSEG Long Island makes an outbound phone call to customers, customer-specific information is shared with the customer. That information includes the account name, address, number and current balance. If customers do not receive this correct information, they likely are not speaking with a PSEG Long Island representative. If customers feel uncomfortable and they know they have an outstanding balance that needs to be resolved, they should hang up and call PSEG Long Island directly at 1-800-490-0025 or visit a local PSEG Customer Service Center. Service Centers are open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., with locations listed on customer bills and online.

PSEG Long Island is working with local and national law enforcement to investigate the matter and is also reaching out to its contacts at local community service agencies asking them to spread the word to their clients.