PSEG Long Island phone scam

Sophia Hall/WCBS 880

Police Warn Of Phone Scam Targeting PSEG Long Island Customers

August 14, 2019 - 1:17 pm

HAUPPAUGE, N.Y. (WCBS 880) — Suffolk County lawmakers joined police officials on Wednesday to warn residents about an ongoing phone scam targeting customers of PSEG Long Island.

According to police, customers who are up to date on their bills are receiving phone calls from a scammer telling them they will have power shut off to their home unless they pay a hefty fine.

“Tell the customer that they're in arrears, they then instruct them to purchase, usually, a prepaid debit card and they give a call back number,” explained a PSEG Long Island spokesperson. “What that does then, the money is transferred from the card to their account.”

Adding to the confusion is the fact that the caller ID will show up as “PSEG Long Island.”

“They were very believable,” said Kim Sanders, who was targeted but ultimately did not fall victim to the scam.

“Even the prompting on the phone is everything from PSEG. It sounds exactly like their phone calls,” she added.

Suffolk County Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart warned that even though it may sound convincing, companies would never request a prepaid debit card for payment.

“Legitimate companies and agencies do not want to be paid in gift cards, nor will they make threats if you don't send large amounts of cash,” she told residents.

The police department said residents can report and obtain information on scams by calling Suffolk311.