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Fresno PG&E Customers Getting Scammed at High Rate, Utility Warns



PG&E customers in Fresno are being victimized by scammers who demand immediate payment to prevent service cutoff, the company said (Shutterstock)
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PG&E customers in Fresno are being victimized by scammers who are demanding immediate payment to prevent a cutoff of utility service, the company said Thursday.

The fraudsters threaten to turn off the customer’s electricity and gas unless they provide “payment” using a pre-paid debit card.

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, scammers have become increasingly deceptive and have increased calls, texts, emails, and in-person tactics,” PG&E said in an online post.

Imposters Target Vulnerable Customers

“In fact, there have been more than 2,700 attempted scams reported to PG&E’s customer service line since June 2021 alone,” with Fresno and Bakersfield among the top cities being targeted, the company said.

“Scammers may instruct the customer to purchase a prepaid card then call them back supposedly to make a bill payment. PG&E reminds customers that they should never purchase a prepaid card to avoid service disconnection or shutoff.”

The utility said imposters can be convincing and often target seniors, lower-income customers and those with limited English skills. “They also aim their scams at small business owners during busy customer service hours,” PG&E warned.

The company said their representatives would never ask customers to make payments with a pre-paid card, gift card, cryptocurrency or third-party digital payment apps.

“If you receive a call or email that demands immediate payment, please call our customer service line or visit to access your account details,” the post said.

Tips for Avoiding Scams

PG&E said other cities with the most reports of fraudulent payment demands in June included San Francisco and Santa Rosa.

“Unfortunately, this number only represents reported scams, and there are countless other additional attempts every day seeking to defraud customers.”

The utility is offering tips for detecting fraudulent payment demands and other potential scams, such as refund or rebate offers and phone number spoofing on the PG&E website.


Randy Reed is a writer and content producer for GV Wire. He has experience reporting for local radio stations and newspapers. In addition, he an extensive background in video production focused on news and documentary subjects. Reed is a proud graduate of California State University, Fresno with a degree in Mass Communications. In his free time, Reed enjoys digital photography as a hobby and loves to explore the scenic beauty of our Valley’s three spectacular National Parks. You can contact Randy at 559-705-2107 or Send an Email.

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