PG&E Warns Customers of Increased Scams During Tax and Election Season

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) warns its customers to protect
themselves, their families and businesses by increasing their awareness
of potential online and in-person scams. According to the Internal
Revenue Service (IRS) and the nation’s leading credit rating agencies,
scammers take advantage of tax and election season to trick Californians
into giving up their personal and financial information. The IRS
has seen an approximate 400 percent surge
in phishing and malware
incidents so far in the 2016 tax season.

Here in California, recent scams have involved imposters posing as PG&E
employees, including:

  • In-person scammers pretending to be PG&E utility workers and going
    door-to-door in PG&E’s service territory in order to gain entry to
    homes.
  • Email scammers sending “phishing” emails to PG&E customers, asking
    them to make a payment online.
  • Phone scammers posing as PG&E customer service representatives and
    asking for payment information over the phone.

In all cases, PG&E actively works with law enforcement to help stop any
scam impacting customers. Anyone who has received a call, email or visit
from imposters claiming to be PG&E employees can report it immediately
by calling PG&E at 1-800-PGE-5000.

“Scams of all kinds abound during tax and election season, from people
going door-to-door with fake petitions to email scammers sending out
messages with false tax refund documents. At PG&E, safety and security
is our top priority, and we want to ensure our customers know how to
recognize a legitimate PG&E contact. Awareness is the best defense, so
we are asking our customers to stay alert and contact us if anything
seems suspicious,” said Laurie Giammona, Senior Vice President and Chief
Customer Officer.

Stop Scammers in Their Tracks

PG&E offers the following tips to help protect customers from scams:

  • Always ask for identification before allowing anyone claiming to be a
    PG&E representative inside your home. PG&E employees always carry
    their identification and are always willing to show it to you.
  • Remember that if you have an appointment with PG&E, you will receive
    an automated call within 48 hours prior to a scheduled visit, or a
    personal call from a PG&E gas service representative prior to a
    scheduled visit.
  • PG&E’s Credit Department will not ask for personal information or a
    credit card number over the phone.
  • If you have concerns about the legitimacy of a phone call about a past
    due bill, a service request or a request for personal information,
    hang up and call PG&E at 1-800-PGE-5000.
  • Be cautious if you receive an unexpected email that claims to be from
    PG&E. Do not click on any links or provide any personal information,
    and call 1-800-PGE-5000 instead.

“Online scammers are getting more and more sophisticated every day. From
phishing emails to fake postings on social media, cyber-criminals are
constantly finding new ways to separate us from our personal
information. At PG&E, we’re asking our customers to practice good
cyber-awareness and to call us directly if they receive any suspicious
online communications claiming to be from PG&E,” said Karen Austin,
Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer.

About PG&E

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E
Corporation
(NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas
and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco,
with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the
nation’s cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and
Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/
and www.pge.com/en/about/newsroom/index.page.

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Contacts

Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Jody Fox, 415-973-5930