PG&E Joins North American Utilities to Increase Awareness of Scams

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is joining utilities throughout
North America to make customers aware of telephone, mail, email and
door-to-door/in-person scams that involve criminals posing as utility
company representatives and demanding immediate payment or personal
information. The “Utilities United Against Scams” collaboration has
designated November 16 as “Utilities United Against Scams Day.” This day
will be supported by a week-long campaign, beginning November 14, with
information focused on exposing the tricks scammers use to steal from
customers, and how customers can protect themselves.

“The safety and security of our customers is the foundation of how we
operate, so it’s heartbreaking when you hear about people being affected
by these types of scams,” said Deb Affonsa, vice president, PG&E
Customer Care. “Awareness is a key part of stopping this type of crime
and we are working hard to continue getting the word out to our
customers.”

The North American-wide collaborative encourages the public to share
these messages to help guard against scam activity.

To date in 2016, PG&E has received more than 2,400 scam reports.
Scammers continue to employ increasingly more sophisticated tactics to
exploit customers. PG&E continues to work with law enforcement agencies
that are conducting investigations as well as supporting ongoing efforts
to help educate customers about scams.

Scam Red Flags and How to Protect Yourself

  • A scammer tells the customer his or her account is past due and
    service will be disconnected if payment isn’t made through prepaid
    cash card – usually within an hour.
  • PG&E never requires a customer to purchase a prepaid debit
    card to avoid disconnection. Customers behind on their bill receive
    multiple advance disconnection notifications – never a single
    notification one hour before disconnection. Customers can make
    payments online, by phone, automatic bank draft, mail or in person.
  • Hang up on suspicious calls. Contact local police on their
    non-emergency number and then call PG&E.
  • Never dial phone numbers scammers provide or assume caller ID is
    accurate. Scammers use sophisticated systems where they can mimic
    caller ID that appears to be PG&E’s number.
  • An in-person scammer wears a hard hat, an orange vest and holds a clip
    board and asks to see your utility bill or to be let inside your home.
  • If someone is at your door claiming to represent PG&E and is unwilling
    to show their ID or is otherwise making you uncomfortable, don’t let
    them in and call local law enforcement immediately. PG&E employees
    carry identification and are always willing to show it to you.
  • Expect to receive an automated call from PG&E 48 hours before a
    scheduled visit. You may also receive a personal call from a PG&E gas
    service representative before a scheduled visit. You can also call
    PG&E to verify an appointment.
  • A scammer sends an email that demands immediate payment, asks for
    financial information or contains suspicious links.
  • Beware of emails requesting your personal information. Never click on
    suspicious links or open attachments that demand immediate payment or
    financial information.

Customers who suspect or experience fraud, or feel threatened during
contact with one of these scammers, should contact local authorities and
then PG&E 1-800-743-5000.

For more information visit www.pge.com.

About PG&E

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E
Corporation
(NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas
and electric energy companies in the United States. Based in San
Francisco, with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of
the nation’s cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and
Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/
and pge.com/news.

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Contacts

Pacific Gas and Electric Company
David Kligman, 415-973-5930