PSEG Payment Scams
PSEG Long Island is warning customers about a scam in which an individual calls pretending to be a PSEG Long Island employee. Police say in some cases, the scammer has the victim’s correct account number. The caller demands payment within hours using a type of pre-paid card, such as a Green Dot MoneyPak and threatens to turn off their service. PSEG does not require a customer to use one specific type of payment and customers scheduled for disconnection due to nonpayment receive written notice on their bill at least 10 days in advance. Any customer who has doubts about the legitimacy of a phone call should call 1-800-490-0025.
Phone Scams Targeting Seniors
New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman has issued a consumer alert on five common telephone scams targeting senior citizens, which typically spike during the summer months:
Grandparent Scam – While the emergencies vary, the scenario is usually this: A caller claiming to be the “grandson” is out of town and needs money fast — to make bail, or to pay for automobile repairs or medical expenses. The caller begs the grandparent not to tell his parents, just wire the money immediately. Increasingly, scammers use actual relatives’ names and information gleaned from the Internet.
Jury Duty Scam – The caller will claim to be an officer of the court and say there’s a warrant for the arrest of the victim for failing to report for jury duty. The scammer will also claim that there is a fine for failing to show, and that unless the fine is paid immediately, the police will be sent to the victim’s home to make an arrest. The scammer will request that the “Jury Duty Warrant” be paid with a Green Dot Card Money Card or Western Union MoneyGram.
Lottery Scam – The caller says you’ve won a foreign lottery and requests that you, as the “winner,” send a check or to wire money to cover taxes and fees. Legitimate contests never ask for money upfront. The caller may request your banking information in order to electronically direct deposit your winnings. This is an attempt to steal your identity and will wipe out your bank account.
IRS Scam – The caller will claim to be an agent or police officer from the Internal Revenue Service calling about a past due tax balance. The caller will tell the victim that unless the debt is paid immediately, officers will arrest the victim. The scammer will also request that the “IRS Tax Warrant” be paid with a Green Dot Card Money Card or Western Union MoneyGram. These scammers often use caller ID spoofing so that the victim’s caller ID box says “Internal Revenue Service” or displays the phone number of the IRS.
Victims are encouraged to call 1-800-771-7755.