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Monday, May 27, 2024

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Beware of Shutoff Scams, South Jersey Gas Urges

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By Press Release

COURT HOUSE – 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. 

According to a release, South Jersey Gas and Elizabethtown Gas is raising awareness about these “pay right now or we’ll turn off your service” scams. 

Recent examples of complaints about these scams include: 

· On March 19, a South Jersey Gas customer, in Cumberland County, received a call on from a person demanding $2,300 and threatened to shut off the victim’s gas service. The scammer gave the customer false information about a company supervisor and told the victim to go to a Dollar General Store to put money on a prepaid card. 

· On Feb. 8, 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 they encourage customers behind on their bills to immediately seek payment arrangements and take full advantage of utility assistance programs, South Jersey Gas and Elizabethtown Gas also want to educate customers on protecting themselves from scams. They urged customers to: 

· Never provide Social Security numbers or banking information to anyone initiating contact with you claiming to be a utility representative or requesting you to send money. 

· The companies never require customers to use only one type of payment or ask 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 a home or business. 

· Those unsure can call South Jersey Gas, at 1-888-766-9900, or Elizabethtown Gas, at 1-800-242-5830. Customers may also report fraud by calling these toll-free numbers. 

Learn more at southjerseygas.com/bewareofscams or elizabethtowngas.com/bewareofscams. 

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