JCP&L Utility Scam Alert
A recent scam involves a caller posing as an electric company employee threatening to shut off power unless an immediate payment is made, using a pre-paid debit card such as a Green Dot card. These pre-paid cards are available at convenience stores and drug stores, and customers can use them to pay bills or add money to online accounts. JCP&L does not endorse the use of Green Dot cards as a bill payment method. If a customer receives a call from someone demanding payment of their electric bill by using a Green Dot card, they are being scammed and should report the crime to local authorities. Although JCP&L representatives sometimes do call customers to remind them that a payment is past due, they explain how a payment can be made using one of the following established payment options: • Direct Debit • Automated Phone Payment - 1-866-569-4770 • Authorized Payment Location - www.firstenergycorp.com/forms/paymentagencies • Mail Any customer who has doubts about a call from someone claiming to be from JCP&L, especially one demanding immediate payment, should call JCP&L’s customer service number at 1-800-662-3115. For more information, visit www.firstenergycorp.com/paymentoptions.
PSE&G is once again urging customers to be vigilant to a telephone scam where callers threaten to shut off electric or gas service if payment is not made that day.
The scam, which has been reported across the country, involves payments using Green Dot MoneyPaks, and currently seems to be targeting customers in Mercer County. (PSE&G alerted the public to a similar scam several times in 2013.)
how does the scam work?
- Individuals pretending to be PSE&G employees call customers and demand that they make payment within hours using a Green Dot Money Pak, a type of pre-paid card.
- Customers are told to purchase a Green Dot MoneyPak at a pharmacy or convenience store, use cash to put money on to the card, and then provide the number on the card to the person who called them.
- Customers are advised that if they do not immediately call back and provide the MoneyPak information, their gas/electric service will be shut off that day.
- Typically, after the customer provides that MoneyPak number, the scammer transfers the funds to a prepaid card, and cashes it in at an ATM.
what should customers know?
- Customers should be wary of callers who demand immediate payment and threaten service termination.
- PSE&G does not accept Green Dot Money Pak cards. PSE&G offers a variety of payments options, and would never require a customer to use one specific type of payment.
- When PSE&G 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 PSE&G representative.
- Any customer who has doubts about the legitimacy of a call from PSE&G — especially one in which payment is requested — should call PSE&G directly at 1-800-436-PSEG (7734).
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