Posted on June 3, 2014

PG&E Warns Customers of Several Ongoing Scams

PG&E is alerting customers to be aware of several ongoing scams.

False domain names:

PG&E has become aware that internet domain names using part of the company’s name have been registered. The false domains are pge-corrp.com and pgeemail.com. Please be aware that these domains are not affiliated with PG&E

Customers should take the following precautions if they receive an unexpected email from PG&E:

  • Think before providing any personal information. PG&E will not request account, password or personal information.
  • If you receive an unexpected email with an attachment that you did not request, call the sender to verify the email is legitimate.
  • If you see that an email is copied to others, be careful. Many spammers succeed because they send their emails to thousands of recipients at the same time. If an email that you received has multiple recipients (a group email), this is suspicious and most likely did not come from PG&E.
  • If you find a misspelled word, the email most likely did not come from PG&E. Misspelled words are suspicious and indicate that they most likely did not come from PG&E.

Imposters posing as utility representatives:

Recently, police reported that two men posing as PG&E utility workers tried to gain entry into a Burlingame home. The men were wearing light-blue shirts but did not display any PG&E identification. The men said they were there to inspect the kitchen.

PG&E workers do not typically require entry into a home unless a service call was requested, and PG&E encourages the public to immediately report any suspicious activity.

PG&E offers the following tips to help avoid these scams:

  • Customers should always ask to see valid identification before allowing anyone claiming to be a PG&E representative inside their home. PG&E employees always carry their identification and are always 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-PGE-5000 any time, day or night, to verify an appointment and/or PG&E’s presence in the community.
  • Customers who have an appointment with PG&E will receive an automated call back within 48 hours prior to a scheduled visit, or they will receive a personal call from a PG&E gas service representative prior to a scheduled visit.

Customers with concerns about the legitimacy of a call they receive about a past due bill, a service request or a request for personal information are encouraged to call PG&E at 1-800-PGE-5000.

Phishing scam:

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.

PG&E caller-ID scam:

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.

Customers can call 1-800-660-6789 to talk to a Spanish-speaking customer service representative to get more information.

(Click here to read more about this scam.)

Email scam:

PG&E has 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.

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"PG&E" refers to Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation.
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