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Warning to Residents: Bay Area PG&E Phone Scam Resurfaces

Police officials and PG&E say to avoid giving out personal information or credit card numbers over the phone when you are not the one who made the call.

By AUTUMN JOHNSON and Bay City News Service—

PG&E and law enforcement are warning customers about PG&E phone and email scams, which utility officials said have been reported around the Bay Area and throughout the country. The scam has been seen in Napa, Berkeley, Newark and San Mateo County since the end of last summer.

[Related article: Sheriff's Deputies Warn of PG&E Phone and Email Scam]

This morning, Newark Police sent out a Nixle Alert warning about a "con artist [who] is calling victims pretending they are from PG&E." The scammer asks the victim to load a pre-paid credit card with cash and then give them the credit card number, according to police.

[Related article: Newark Police Warn Residents of PG&E Phone Scam]

In August, Berkeley Police issued a warning to residents about a caller pretending to represent PG&E who tells people that they are behind on payments and must electronically wire $500 to keep their electricity from being shut off. 

[Related article: Berkeley Police Warning: Beware of PG&E Scam]
           
"It's unacceptable that someone is trying to take advantage of our customers and others," Helen Burt, chief customer officer for PG&E, said in a January statement posted on the PG&E website.
           
"We take our customers' security very seriously and under no circumstances would we email anyone to request that they provide personal information without first logging into My Energy or calling us," Burt said.
          
PG&E officials say their credit department does not ask for personal information or a credit card number over the phone.
           
Anyone who receives an email or call from someone who may be posing as a PG&E employee should contact the utility at CorporateSecurity@pge.com or by calling (800) 743-5000.

Copyright © 2014 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.

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