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Email Says You Owe on Utility Bill? Maybe Not

New scam snatches private information when emailed link to pay utility is clicked.

PSE&G said some of its customers, as well as those with other utilities, are getting bogus emails with unsafe links to account information. Credit: PSE&G
PSE&G said some of its customers, as well as those with other utilities, are getting bogus emails with unsafe links to account information. Credit: PSE&G

A new attempt at phishing out private bank information is hitting many area residents, with emails sent that appear to be from utility companies.

Hillsborough resident Diane Jones received such a message, but as a retired employee of the company, she knew it was bogus.

"When I got two of them—two days worth—I forwarded them right over to the company," she said, adding the message appeared to be from PSE&G at first glance but was actually from "PgE." "I thought it was something from them until I read it—they told me I owed over $334 for the last bill and I had to pay it. I've never had a bill that high from PSEG."  

Unfortunately, Public Service Electric and Gas Co. said a number of its customers in the area have been getting the bogus utility bill emails.

The emails look like a pending utility bill with a link to view account information. PSE&G said other utilities across the country have also recently reported similar scams.

The key is to avoid clicking on links or attachments contained in the message: it may indicate you'll be taken to your account information page. Instead, you may end up on a site capable of stealing passwords and account information.

PSE&G also noted bill sent to our customers would be sent from "myaccount@pseg.com" and the company would not ask its customers to provide personal information online without first logging into MyAccount on the company website

“Reports of cyber-crime are on the rise, and we want to ensure that no PSE&G customer becomes a victim,” Joseph A. Forline, vice president of customer solutions for PSE&G, said. “We urge our customers to be cautious when opening email. It’s always a safe practice to go directly to our website to log into your account, rather than clicking on a link in an email.”

PSE&G customers who may have been the victim of a scam can call the company's 24-hour customer service center at 1-800-436-PSEG.

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