PSEG Warns of Holiday Utility Scammers

PSEG Long Island is urging its customers to beware of utility scammers this holiday season.

Scammers impersonating utility company workers use high-pressure tactics to steal money from unsuspecting victims, according to the company. They threaten to cut off service if a bill is not paid immediately. They are even able to "spoof" their caller ID systems to display "PSEG Long Island" and provide a toll-free number for customers to call back that appears to be the actual PSEG Long Island number.

Scammers usually demand payment in the form of a prepaid debit card, MoneyGram, or similar money transfer service, and that should be a red flag for anyone receiving such a call. "PSEG Long Island accepts many forms of payment, but does not accept, and will never ask for, payment using prepaid debit cards or MoneyGram," the company said.

“Never arrange payment or divulge account or personal information, including Social Security numbers or debit or credit card information, over the telephone unless you are certain you are speaking to a PSEG Long Island representative,” said Rick Walden, vice president of customer services. “We work closely with law enforcement to track and thwart scammer activity. If you have concerns, hang up immediately and call the number on your bill, which is 800-490-0025.”

In the meantime, here are some of tips PSEG offered:

• Never give out any personal or account information to verify the specifics of your account.

• PSEG Long Island customers scheduled for disconnection due to nonpayment will receive a written notice on their bill at least 10 days in advance.

• PSEG Long Island representatives will always ask to speak with the “customer of record” and will not discuss account details with anyone else without permission.

More information is available on the utility's website.