While payment collection scams are not new, there is greater potential for people behind on their utility bills to become victims as a grace period on utility shutoffs continues in New Jersey into 2022.
A recent example of a complaint about these scams was made on Feb. 8, when a South Jersey Gas customer in Camden County received a call from a person pretending to be from the utility and offering a fictitious case number. The scammer demanded immediate payment from the customer’s Visa card and threatened to shut off the victim’s gas service.
While South Jersey Gas encourages customers behind on their bills to immediately seek payment arrangements and take full advantage of utility assistance programs, the company also wants to educate customers on protecting themselves from scams.
- Never provide your Social Security number or banking information to anyone initiating contact with you claiming to be a utility representative or requesting you to send money.
- We will never require you to use only one type of payment or ask you to pay by prepaid cards, gift cards or through third party wire transfers or apps.
- Always ask to see a company photo ID before allowing any utility worker into your home or business.
- If you’re unsure, call South Jersey Gas at (888) 766-9900. You may also report fraud by calling these toll-free numbers.
Learn more at southjerseygas.com/bewareofscams.
Resources are available for those struggling to pay their energy bills.
Applications will resume in October for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The Payment Assistance for Gas and Electric (PAGE), Universal Service Fund (USF) and several other programs are also available to help.
To learn more, call South Jersey Gas at (888) 766-9900 or visit southjerseygas.com/energyassistance.