Miss Dawn from El Rio passes along this fraud-prevention alert:
Wanted share some info with other business owners regarding another PG&E scam.
We got a call at the club [last week] from a man saying he was with PG&E, and our payment to did not clear, and if we did not pay right away, our power would be turned off. Our staff said she would pass the info on and for them to leave a contact number. When we called, the whole thing sounded shady. In the meantime, I rang the main line for PG&E, and confirmed our payments were up to date. In addition, PG&E reported that this is a scam that has been going around.
Supposedly, they try to get you to buy some card thru Wallgreens or Rite Aid that contains a number, which they then take. We passed the info to SFPD at Ingleside. The scammers called again and we told them they were welcome to discuss it with the ingleside police. They hung up. That was fun!
PHOTO ILLUSTRATION: Bernalwood
3 thoughts on “Bernal Merchants Warned about PG&E “Payment Overdue” Scam”
This is also the same M.O. for the “FBI virus” and various computer scams. The screen shows an ominous warning about fraud or illegal practices the user allegedly did, then offers to accept a “fine” via a money order available at Walgreen’s, Walmart, Rite Aid, and 7-Eleven. The user is then supposed to enter the number in the box on the screen and the “fine” will be taken care of. Usually it’s about $300.
I’ve removed many of these from people’s computers. Thankfully nobody has responded to these by paying the ransom (in the computer tech business it’s called “randomware”).
The easiest thing to do when confronted with strange “fines” and “overdue warnings” is to phone the company directly via the published number or go to the real website if possible and check to see if you’re being scammed.
This kind of stuff is often the work of organized crime in countries such as Russia, Poland, and China.
“The easiest thing to do when confronted with strange “fines” and “overdue warnings” is to phone the company directly via the published number or go to the real website if possible and check to see if you’re being scammed.”
Pretty obvious. Any claim about the standing of your account can be easily verified/refuted these days.
Actually, it’s called ‘RansomWare’ because they are ransoming your computer back to you for a fee.
I’m a PC Technician with over 15 years experience and I’ve seen these things come and go.
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