NEWARK, N.J. (CBS) — Public Service Electric and Gas Company, New Jersey’s largest utility, is warning its customers about a scam that targets small businesses.
The utility company says individuals misrepresenting themselves as PSE&G employees are calling customers and threatening to turn off electric and gas service if payment is not made that day with a pre-paid card.READ MORE: Recent Coastal Storm Uncovers Historic 'Ghost Tracks' On Higbee Beach In Cape May, And It's Not 1st Time
“This is an old scam with a new twist,” said Greg Dunlap, vice president of Customer Operations for PSE&G. “Now some scammers are imitating PSE&G’s interactive voice response system prompt menu, so when customers call them back, they hear something similar to what they would experience if they called PSE&G’s customer service line.”READ MORE: Police Searching For Dirt Bike Rider Wanted In Hit-And-Run Crash In North Philadelphia
When a fake representative answers the line, they ask for the number on the back of the pre-paid card, according to PSE&G. After the scammers have that number, the utility company says they can take the money from the card, usually within a matter of minutes.
“The number of calls we’ve received from customers alerting us to this scam has increased significantly in the past several weeks,” Dunlap says.MORE NEWS: Police: 16-Year-Old Boy Critically Wounded After Being Shot 7 Times in West Philadelphia
When in doubt or if suspicious in any way, PSE&G urges customers to call the number listed on their bill: 1-800-436-7734.