Scammers Target PG&E Customers
- California residents are being targeted by scammers claiming to be from PG&E.
- The scam involves a caller demanding payment and threatening to shut off power if the customer fails to send a payment.
- PG&E warns customers that it will never demand immediate payment over the phone and advises anyone who receives such a call to hang up and report it.
California residents are receiving calls and emails from scammers claiming to be representatives of Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E). The scammers demand payment for past due bills and threaten to shut off power if customers don’t comply.
PG&E will never demand immediate payment or require customers to use a specific payment method. If you receive a call or email from someone claiming to be from PG&E, do not provide any personal information or payment. If you’re concerned about your account status, you can check it online or call PG&E customer service at 1-800-743-5000.
A Look Into the PG&E Scam
An American investor-owned utility holding company headquartered in San Francisco, Pacific Gas and Electric Company—commonly known as PG&E—is the primary electricity provider in much of Northern and Central California. Like many other companies with large service areas, PG&E has been the target of scammers in recent years.
Signs of a Potential Scam
- Threatening to shut off power if immediate payment is not made: Scammers will use threatening language to try and scare customers into paying them. This is a common tactic used by scammers, and utility companies will never threaten to shut off service immediately if payment is not made.
- Requesting payment using a specific method: Another red flag is when scammers request that customers use a specific method to make a payment, such as a prepaid debit card or wire transfer. Utility companies will offer various payment options, so you should never have to use a specific method.
- Asking for personal information: Scammers may also try to get personal information from you, such as your social security number or bank account information. Again, utility companies already have this information on file and will never ask you to verify it.
- Telling customers they are eligible for a utility rebate: This is another common scam tactic in which scammers try to get customers to provide personal information.
- Claiming to be a PG&E representative selling a product or service: Some scammers will falsely claim to be selling PG&E products or services, such as solar panels. This is an attempt to gain access to your home.
This scam may be difficult to spot for customers who are late on payments because the caller can spoof the PG&E customer service number on your caller ID. This means the call appears to be coming from a legitimate source when it’s coming from a scammer. Customers with past-due accounts will receive advanced notice of shut-off by mail. Signing up for an online account is the best way to stay on top of your account status and avoid scamming. You can also set up text or email alerts to notify you of any changes to your account.
What Should You Do if You Receive a Scam Call or Email?
Customers should never purchase prepaid cards, gift cards, or wire money to someone they don’t know. PG&E does not specify a particular type of payment method customers should use when making a payment and offers several ways to pay a bill, including online, by phone, and in person. The best way to protect yourself from scams is to stay informed and be aware of the signs of a scam.
By following these tips, you can help keep yourself and your family safe from scammers:
- Hang up the phone or delete the email: Do not engage with the scammer if you receive a scam call or email. Hang up the phone or delete the email immediately.
- Report it: Customers can report scam calls or emails to PG&E by calling the customer service line at 1-833-500-SCAM (1-833-500-7226).
- Check your account status: If you’re concerned about your account status, you can check it online or call PG&E customer service at 1-800-743-5000.
- Safeguard your sensitive information: Never give personal information, such as your social security number or bank account information, to anyone who calls or emails you. If you give your information to a scammer, they could use it to commit identity theft or fraud.
- Check identification: If someone comes to your door claiming to be from PG&E, always ask to see their identification. All PG&E employees and contractors carry photo IDs.
Scammers love to take advantage of people during times of crisis, so it’s important to be aware of this scam and others like it. Please contact your local law enforcement agency if you suspect you have been a scam victim. The Federal Trade Commission also has resources to help you report and recover from identity theft.
Alvarez Technology Group Protects Our Clients From Scammers
Alvarez Technology Group is committed to protecting our clients from scammers and other threats. We offer various services, including IT support, cybersecurity, and managed IT services, to help our clients protect their businesses.
We understand that every business is different, so we tailor our services to meet your specific needs. As a leading managed IT services provider in Salinas, we stay up-to-date on the latest threats and how to protect against them. We also offer 24/7 monitoring and support to ensure your business is always safe.
Some of the benefits of working with Alvarez Technology Group include:
- Peace of mind knowing that your IT needs are being taken care of by a team of professionals
- Access to our team of IT experts who can help you with any issues that may arise
- Proactive support that can help prevent problems before they happen
Contact us today if you’re interested in learning more about our IT services. We’ll be happy to answer any questions and help you find the right solution for your business.