PG&E warns of scammers demanding payments

The Fresno BeeDecember 21, 2013 

Pacific Gas and Electric Company is alerting customers of a phone scam asking for immediate payment for allegedly late electricity bills.

PG&E said the scam is targeting businesses and residential customers, including Spanish-speaking customers. Customers have reported the scammers threaten to disconnect electric services unless customers pay immediately through a prepaid cash card, PayPal or a Green Dot card. PG&E said its representatives never ask for immediate payment with a prepaid cash card over the phone or in person.

PG&E asks that anyone who has received a scam immediately call (800) 743-5000.

PG&E offers the following tips to protect customers from potential scams:

-PG&E's credit department does not ask for personal information or a credit card number over the phone. Anyone who has received a call and provided credit card or checking account information through a prepaid cash card should report it to the credit card company or bank and law enforcement.

-Customers who are concerned about the legitimacy of a call about an overdue bill, service request or request for personal information are encouraged to call PG&E at (800) 743-5000.

-Customers should ask for identification before letting someone who claims to be a PG&E representative into their home. PG&E employees always carry identification and are willing to show it. If they do have proper identification and customers still feel uncomfortable, call PG&E's customer service line at (800) 743-5000 to verify an appointment or PG&E's presence in the community.

-Customers who have an appointment with PG&E will receive an automated call withing 48 hours before a scheduled visit, or a personal call from a PG&E service representative before a scheduled visit.

The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6679 or bvaccari@fresnobee.com

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