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PG&E scams rise after election

Kaylie Lewis

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Pacific Gas and Electric has warned customers that there would be an increase in scams following election season.

The company decided to take action against the scams and started a new campaign called Utilities United Against Scams Week. The campaign was designed to inform customers of this issue and lower scam reports.

According to PG&E, more than 2,400 scams have been reported this year.

A press release from PG&E in April stated, “According to the Internal Revenue Service 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.”

Scammers have been approaching customers by phone, email, text message and front doors. The scammer states the customer owes PG&E money and must pay immediately or their power will be disconnected. The scammer then directs customers to purchase a prepaid credit card such as Reloadit, Green Dot or Vanilla Reload, or their bank debit card and to phone back with the credit card number.

In the latest press release, the company stated “PG&E’s Credit Department will not ask for personal information or a credit card number over the phone. Anyone who has received such a phone call and provided credit card or checking account information should report it immediately to the credit card company or bank and law enforcement.”

Chico State junior Eric Paulson received scam emails since the election.

“I got a phone call from who I thought was PG&E asking for my payment information for my upcoming bill,” Paulson said. “Luckily I didn’t have my card on me at the time or I would have given them all my information.”

PG&E has voiced that they hope the campaign will spread awareness to everyone in Butte County.

Kaylie Lewis can be reached at [email protected] or @kaylielewis_ on Twitter.

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PG&E scams rise after election