Overture Comes In The Form Of An Emailed Bill; Customers Targeted In N.J., On L.I.

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New information was learned Thursday about a new scam designed to steal your personal information.

Hackers apparently for the first time are now targeting utility customers, CBS 2’s Dick Brennan reported.

An email arrives looking like a utility bill, with a link to view account information. Up to 66 PSE&G customers in New Jersey and 200 more on Long Island reported receiving one.

“The scam started about a week ago and we are getting about 10-15 calls a day,” said Joseph Forline of PSE&G Customer Solutions.

The bogus bill says “energy statement” and has very faint official lettering. But if you look closely it says PGNE, which is actually the logo of a Pacific gas and electric utility.

If you click on any of the links, authorities say, they can send malware or software designed to disrupt your computer.

Hackers could then steal your information, Brennan reported.

“It could clog up your computer, could go in and maybe take information off your computer, similar to other scams out there,” Forline said.

But don’t confuse the bill, the fake one, with the real bill. A legitimate PSE&G e-bill is laid out in letter form and it addresses you by name.

You’re then instructed to click on “View/Pay My Bill.” That link takes you to your account at PSEG.com, where you can pay your bill.

PSE&G says despite the scam, you can safely pay your bill online, but if you don’t feel comfortable, you can come to any one of the 16 customer service centers to do it, Brennan reported.

PSE&G said to its knowledge only one customer actually clicked on the bogus link.

“We do monitor Facebook and Twitter. One of our Twitter customers tried to click on the link, but computer protection screened it out,” Forline said.

If you see a suspicious email, don’t click on any links. Delete it. Alert your local police department and call the PSE&G customer service line — 1-800-553-PSEG (7734).

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