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SCAM ALERT: Phone Calls to PGE Customers Threatening Shut-Offs, Demanding Payment
PGE has just alerted us of a new scam affecting its customers. If you or someone you know is a customer of PGE, please continue reading and let others know about this.
PGE has received dozens of complaints from customers saying that they are being called and told that they are facing a shut-off of their electricity service due to lack of payment, and that they need to pay immediately or else their power will be disconnected. The customers are then directed to purchase a pre-paid credit card and the person calls back to get the number.
The utility company is currently working with the authorities to put an end to these fraudulent calls. If you or someone you knows receives one of these calls, you should give the caller no personal information, contact PGE at 800-542-8818, and contact your local police department immediately.
If you are currently facing a past-due amount on your electric bill, you will be notified by two ways before facing shut-off. You will receive a written notice on PGE letterhead 15 days and 5 days before disconnection, and receive automated phone calls 15 days and up to 5 days before disconnection. The letter will give you information on different ways to pay your bill, and the automated calling system will identify itself as PGE on your caller ID, and will direct you to an automated system that can take payment.
The company states that, “PGE residential customers never receive phone calls from a live person asking for payment.” PGE also instructs that if you question the validity of a call asking for payment, to please hang up and call the company’s customer service number directly. It also notes that “if a customer is having trouble paying their bill, PGE urges them to contact customer service right away. PGE can arrange a payment plan or connect the customer with energy assistance programs.”
Whether it is through phone or e-mail, you should never give out personal information to anyone you don’t know. You should be suspicious of anyone calling or emailing and claiming to be from a company that is asking for your social security number, password, or PIN-number. They should already have that information on file. If you are asked to make a payment over the phone and you don’t know the number that is calling, or feel that anything is suspicious, you should hang up immediately and call the company via its regular customer service line.