This week, November 15th through November 19th is Utility Scam Awareness Week. Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter and members of the Town Board are reminding residents to be vigilant of scammers posing as utility workers. In 2021, more than 4,085 scam calls were reported to PSEG Long Island; PSEG received over 4,300 reports of scam calls in 2020. The financial insecurities brought on by the pandemic, and increased stress levels have created an environment for scammers to thrive.
Some helpful tips to avoid falling for one of these scams include:
- Scammers impersonating PSEG Long Island most frequently threaten to shut off power immediately unless payment is made.
- Many scammers use phone “spoofing” technology to make their number display on your phone as “PSEG Long Island.”
- PSEG Long Island is not currently shutting off residential customers for nonpayment.
- Residential and small business customers can still obtain state-mandated protections from shutoffs through Dec. 21 by calling PSEG Long Island at 1-800-490-0021 and attesting to financial hardship caused by the pandemic.
- PSEG Long Island will never request that customers use one specific method of payment.
- Scammers typically want their victims to transfer money via a web-based electronic payment service, a prepaid debit card, or even Bitcoin, sometimes asking people to buy a prepaid card at the nearest convenience store and then to read them the PIN over the phone.
- PSEG Long Island does not accept web-based electronic payment services, prepaid debit cards or Bitcoin as payment.
- Sometimes phone scammers will demand a deposit for a priority meter installation. PSEG Long Island does not require a deposit for meter installations.
- If a customer has doubts about the legitimacy of a call or an email — especially one in which payment is requested — call the company directly at 1-800-490-0025.