PSEG Long Island says scammers are calling customers to tell them...

PSEG Long Island says scammers are calling customers to tell them of power shut off unless immediate payment is made. Credit: James Carbone

Officials with PSEG Long Island are warning customers to be vigilant of a phone scam in which perpetrators pose as employees threatening to shut off power unless they receive immediate payments.

The scam has reached more than 500 customers between Dec. 20 and Jan. 2., company officials announced in a statement Tuesday. However, only 5.1% of customers recently contacted fell for the deception, the company said.

Scammers request customers buy prepaid debit cards for payment, such as Green Dot cards, which are available at pharmacies and convenience stores, or Zelle, an online payment transfer platform.

PSEG officials emphasized their employees would ask to speak to the customer of record. If that person is available, the employee will explain why they are calling and provide the account name, address and current balance.

"If the person on the phone does not provide the correct information, it is likely the customer is not speaking with a PSEG Long Island representative," the statement said.

PSEG officials warned customers to be wary of:

• threats to disconnect,

• requests for immediate payment,

• and requests for the prepaid card’s number or gift-card’s PIN.

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