Current PG&E Scam:
The Immediate Take-Away
We are going to get right to the point. Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) customers are currently being targeted with phone and email scams. The phone and email scams are primarily asking customers to pay immediately, or power to their home or office will be shut off. If you receive a phone call like this, hang up the phone immediately. If you receive an email, delete it immediately (do not click on any links). Then call PG&E directly (1-800-743-5000) to report that you received a call or email and confirm that your account is up-to-date.
These scammers are using the element of surprise and the fear of not having power to catch you off guard and scam you out of money. And with the recent power outages in the area, their tactic can hit home for a lot of people. In addition, these scammers can be pretty pushy over the phone. Basically, they are trying to scramble your critical thinking enough to provide the payment information that they are looking for.
These scammers are even using specific customer names and taking an educated guess at a dollar amount that you may normally pay PG&E for your utility bill. What’s more, your caller ID may say PG&E or Pacific Gas & Electric when they call you. All in, they are doing their best to be pretty convincing.
If you receive a call claiming to be PG&E, listen for these red flags indicating that it is not PG&E:
- Insisting on payment immediately
- Asking to be paid by Green Dot, Money Pack or a gift card
- Asking for personal information, credit card information or checking account information
- Claiming that you are eligible for a federal tax refund related to your utility bill
- Selling solar evaluation services and trying to schedule an in-home solar evaluation
What To Do
If you hear any of these red flags, hang up the phone. Then call PG&E directly at 1-800-743-5000 to inquire about your bill or any service needs.
Scammers are also using email as a path to gain access to your accounts or personal information. If you receive an email that appears to be a bill from PG&E, do not click on any of the links. Rather delete it immediately. PG&E does not email their customers and ask for personal information. Bills and other utility-related activity is always handled through your PG&E account, or when you call the company directly.
Current PG&E Scam: Why We Are Sharing
You know we are very much against scammers and hackers, and this is the primary reason we are sharing. But the secondary reason is, one of our employees received one of these scam calls, and on the surface, the call sounded pretty legitimate. However, our employee did not fall for it. And, we are hoping that her experience, along with the details above, can prevent others from becoming victims to the scam as well.
To stay up-to-date on current scams related to PG&E, check out their website.