June 3, 2014 Update:
Several PG&E customers have reported a phishing scam that uses a deceptive email that looks like it came from PG&E. In this case, customers are asked to make a payment by clicking on a hyperlink provided in the email – a link that looks identical to PG&E’s My Energy link. As with any emails asking for payment, customers should use caution and not click on any links in the email. Instead, customers can safely get to their My Energy account from the official home page of pge.com.
Here is the story as posted on March 21, 2014:
PG&E is alerting customers to be aware of several ongoing telephone and email scams.
In one such scam, PG&E customers and people in other parts of the country have told the company that they are receiving calls that show PG&E’s caller ID (1-800-743-5000) on their phones. Customers are told they have a past-due balance owed or that they are eligible for a federal tax refund.
PG&E is not making these calls. PG&E will never ask for financial information from customers over the phone so customers should treat any request like this as a scam.
PG&E’s Corporate Security Department and the proper authorities are investigating this scam.
If a customer ever doubts the validity of an incoming call from PG&E, they should hang up and call the company’s customer service number, (800) 743-5000.
Green Dot scam targeting Hispanic businesses
In another scam, callers are specifically targeting Hispanic business customers who are told that immediate payment is needed for allegedly past due electricity bills. This scam appears to specifically target Hispanic business customers.
PG&E customers in the Bay Area have reported receiving calls warning that their electric service will be disconnected unless they make immediate payment through a prepaid cash card, such as a PayPal or Green Dot card. PG&E reminds customers that its representatives never ask for immediate payment with a prepaid cash card over the phone or in person.
(Click here to read more about this scam.)
Earlier this year, PG&E received calls from people, both within its service area and outside of it, reporting that they have received suspicious emails that appeared to be bills sent by PG&E. These bills were fictitious. (Click here to read more about this scam.)
PG&E offers the following tips to help protect customers from potential scams:
- PG&E’s Credit Department will not ask for personal information or a credit card number over the phone. Anyone who has received such a phone call and provided credit card or checking account information should report it immediately to the credit card company or bank and law enforcement.
- PG&E takes our customers’ security very seriously and under no circumstances would the company email anyone to request that they provide personal information without first logging into My Energy or calling us.
- Customers with concerns about the legitimacy of a call about a past due bill, service request or request for personal information are encouraged to call PG&E at 1-800-743-5000.
- Customers always should to see identification before allowing anyone claiming to be a PG&E representative inside their home. PG&E employees always carry their identification and are willing to show it to you.
- If a person claiming to be a PG&E employee has identification and you still feel uncomfortable, call PG&E’s customer service line at 1-800-743-5000 to verify an appointment and/or PG&E’s presence in the community. If you feel threatened in any way, notify local law enforcement immediately.
- Customers who have an appointment with PG&E will receive an automated call back within 48 hours prior to a scheduled visit, or a personal call from a PG&E gas service representative prior to a scheduled visit.