Friday, December 09, 2016

PG&E Gives Anti- Scam Tips

The Willits News tells of Pacific Gas and Electric Company joining with other utilities to raise awareness of scams by people falsely representing themselves as company employees. This is somewhat timely as I've seen numerous reports on the Nextdoor Neighborhood e-mail list of guys going door to door around Eureka and asking to see resident's utility bills, claiming they could save that resident money. In the reports  mentioned the guys were sent packing.  I wonder how that scam works?

PG&E offers a number of tips in the article, many of which seem common sense to me, but you never know. A lot of it depends on how good the scammer is. A couple of instances come to me. I wrote back in 2008 of a guy who called me with a telemarketing scam. Everyone says "Just hang up!". I say now as I did then, NO, don't hang up. Keep them on the phone to waste their time.

Then there was the guy- I think it was last year- who came to my door purporting to be a Dish Network represntative. He even had a Dish patch on the sleeve of his shirt that he made sure to point out. He said they were going to upgrade my satellite dish and went on with some Dish sounding talk. I even let him step in the door to look at our receiver box. Then he tried to get me to sign a contract of some kind. I'm not sure it was a ripoff. I think he was making money flipping accounts- getting a Dish customer to switch to Direct TV and such. Also, maybe getting me to sign up for a more expensive plan. I sent him packing.

One of the tips in the article is something we might not think of:

"Never dial phone numbers scammers provide or assume caller ID is accurate. Scammers use sophisticated systems where they can mimic caller ID that appears to be PG&E’s number."

I still say don't hang up, unless you're the kind of person that just can't say No.


At 11:00 AM, Blogger Rick Wentworth said...

just answer phone with HOLA , most them pond scum only expecting english speaking person to answer
and as far as door knockers , if they dont have an ID badge , take their description down on a notebook right in front of them then call the cops . some might run but others just might stick around .
and never sign anything , tell them to send official notice from headquarters just like all the companies say .

At 11:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

While there are many door-to-door scams involving utilities, the one wanting to see your energy bill might not be. A Core Transport Agent is a third party company that provides you gas through PG&E pipes, instead of having PG&E do it. In my opinion, it's basically possible so that PG&E isn't considered a monopoly.

One of these guys came to my door. His pitch was to talk up how high my energy bill will be this winter, and his company would charge me an unchanging rate every month for gas... but he needed to see my energy bill first. I suspect he wants to see that his overall charges would be lower than PG&E and yet still be profitable.

Part of his pitch was saying that PG&E is buying gas from a provider and reselling it to me too, and his company just wants to do that for me instead of PG&E (while still using PG&E's pipes).

But what stopped my in my tracks was his unwillingness to provide me a copy of the contract or any information about the company, aside from his business card. I'm not going to change my gas provider in a snap decision at my doorstep, without googling the company and researching all of the issues. Of course, I've lost his card now.

At 1:03 PM, Blogger Henchman Of Justice said...

PGE on scams is funny because PGE does actually scam it's rate not need proof of false employees either......

At 2:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had someone come by. I asked for info, which they didn't have. I asked for online info, so I could look it up; once again, they didn't have it. The gal was very insistent. Even though i let her know I had what I wanted from PGE, she said that they would be changing everything for everyone, and I needed to sign up with her.
If someone tries it with you, just let them know you get electronic billing, and there is no bill to show them.
That shut her up good.


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