This week, PSEG Long Island joins more than 100 U.S. and Canadian electric, water, and natural gas utilities to remind customers of the many utility scams engineered to deprive them of their money, and to educate them on how to protect themselves against falling victim.
“Scammers are developing increasingly sophisticated schemes to take advantage of customers,” said Rick Walden, vice president of customer services, PSEG Long Island. “To better protect customers, it is critically important we continue to raise awareness and educate customers about scams. The ‘7 Scams in 7 Days’ campaign highlights and provides resources to help utility customers better protect themselves from utility impostor scammers.”
The third annual Utility Scam Awareness Day was held on Wednesday, November 14, and was supported by a weeklong advocacy and awareness campaign, “7 Scams in 7 Days,” which focuses on in-person scams, small business education, phone scams, Internet scams, and scams on the rise.
Telltale Sign Of A Utility Scam
Scammers claiming to be from PSEG Long Island will often call or e-mail a customer with a warning that service is going to be shut off due to unpaid bills—unless the customer purchases a pre-paid card or arranges for a transfer via MoneyGram. There have even been reports that some of these scammers can spoof caller ID systems to display “PSEG Long Island.”
PSEG Long Island does not accept payments of electric bills by pre-paid debit cards or by MoneyGram or similar transfers.
How They Get Your Money
Pre-paid debit cards: The scammer suggests a specific store near the customer’s home to purchase pre-paid cards. The scammer instructs the customer to pay cash to put money on the card and to then provide the number on the card. Once the customer provides the scammer with the card number, the scammer steals the money.
MoneyGram: Scammers may ask a customer to provide money from a bank account, credit card, or debit card by going online or to a specified location. The money goes into a fraudulent bank account or is available for the receiver to pick up in cash.
What You Should Do
Be alert to the telltale sign of a scam: someone asking by telephone or e-mail for payment in pre-paid debit cards or a MoneyGram transfer, or to send money to an out-of-state address.
Never arrange payment or divulge account or personal information, including social-security numbers or debit or credit-card information, over the telephone unless certain it is to a PSEG Long Island representative.
If a customer has doubts about the legitimacy of a call or an e-mail—especially one in which payment is requested—call the utility directly at 1-800-490-0025 or visit a local PSEG Long Island 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 at: psegliny.com/page.cfm/Account/Payment/CustomerServiceCenters.
PSEG Long Island is a member of the Utilities United Against Scams (UUAS) collaborative. UUAS and its member companies have helped to shut down more than 2,200 toll-free numbers used by scammers against utility customers. The group was recently awarded the toll-free industry’s Fraud Fighter Award in recognition of its advocacy and awareness campaign to stop scams that target electric, water, and natural gas company customers. UUAS was presented the award on October 10 at the Toll-Free User Summit hosted by Somos, Inc., in Las Vegas.
UUAS’s International Utility Scam Awareness Week campaign, highlighting “7 Scams in 7 Days,” was held from November 11–17, 2018.
For more information on various payment scams reported in the PSEG Long Island service area and around the country, visit PSEGLINY.com/scam.
PSEG Long Island operates the Long Island Power Authority’s transmission and distribution system under a 12-year contract. PSEG Long Island is a subsidiary of Public Service Enterprise Group Incorporated (NYSE:PEG), a publicly traded diversified energy company with annual revenues of $9.1 billion.

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