PG&E issues warning of tax scams

Here's how to protect yourself during tax season.

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MENDOCINO Co., 4/10/18 — Tax season is here, and with it comes scammers, who may be impersonating PG&E employees to gain your sensitive information. PG&E has issued a warning in response to reports of people falsely impersonating employees or using PG&E telephone numbers in order to extract private financial or personal information. To help customers, PG&E will be providing a variety of ways that you can verify who you are talking to before providing them with sensitive data.

Reported scams include: the official PG&E number falsely showing up on caller ID; phone calls telling customers they are eligible for a federal tax refund if they provide Social Security numbers; people at the door claiming to be PG&E employees to sell a product gain access to a residence; pretending to sell products such as solar panels while asking for personal info; and “phishing” emails instructing customers to fill out fake documents or requesting online payment.

If you’re concerned, you can report any suspicious activity to PG&E and law enforcement, who will be working together to track down scammers. PG&E representatives will always carry official identification, will not ask for personal or credit card information over the phone, and will confirm any appointments in advance. Customers can contact PG&E at 1-800-743-5000 to verify employees or report suspicious activity, and can call the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration atwww.treasury.gov/tigta or 1-800-366-4484 about US Treasure or tax-related scams.

Here’s the press release with more details:

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.— The deadline to file taxes is quickly approaching and Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) warns its customers to protect themselves from an increase in scams involving people posing as PG&E employees. According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), scammers take advantage of tax season to fool people into giving up their personal and financial information to file fraudulent tax returns ahead of the April 17 deadline.

This tax season, PG&E customers have reported increased emails or calls from scammers that falsely show PG&E’s phone number (1-800-743-5000) on the caller ID. Some of the recent scams have included:

  • Telling customers they are eligible for a federal tax refund and requesting personal information like Social Security.
  • Claiming to represent a PG&E initiative so they can sell a product or gain entrance to your home.
  • Trying to sell a service such as solar evaluation and requesting personal information.
  • “Phishing” emails to PG&E customers asking them to make a payment online or fill out false documents.

In all cases, PG&E actively works with law enforcement to help stop any scam impacting customers. Anyone who has received a call, email or visit from imposters claiming to be PG&E employees can report it immediately by calling PG&E at 1-800-743-5000.

PG&E offers the following tips to help protect you from potential scams:

  • PG&E’s Credit Department will not ask for personal information or a credit card number over the phone. If you gave someone your credit card or checking account information, report it to the credit card company or bank and law enforcement immediately.
  • Be cautious if you receive an unexpected email that claims to be from PG&E. Do not click on any links or provide any personal information, and call 1-800-743-5000 instead.
  • Always ask for identification before allowing anyone claiming to be a PG&E representative inside your home. PG&E employees always carry their identification and are always willing to show it to you.
  • Remember that if you have an appointment with PG&E, you will receive an automated call within 48 hours prior to a scheduled visit, or a personal call from a PG&E gas service representative prior to a scheduled visit.

IRS or U.S. Treasury impersonation scams can be reported to the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration atwww.treasury.gov/tigta or 1-800-366-4484.

About PG&E

 Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric energy companies in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/ and www.pge.com/en/about/newsroom/index.page.

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