SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) — PG&E is warning that gas and electric customers are increasingly being targeted by scammers threatening to shut off service unless they are paid immediately.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, scammers have stepped up calls, texts, emails, and in-person tactics, PG&E said. There have been more than 2,700 scam attempts reported since June and San Francisco and Santa Rosa top the list of cities with the most reports.

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An imposter will often demand immediate payment to avoid service disconnection, and they can be convincing, seeking out vulnerable people, such as senior citizens, those with limited English proficiency and low-income communities. Small business owners are often targeted during busy customer service hours, PG&E said.

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PG&E will never contact a customer for the first time within one hour of a service disconnection, and will never ask customers to make payments with a pre-paid debit card, gift card, any form of cryptocurrency, or third-party digital payment mobile applications.

“Remember, PG&E will never ask for your financial information over the phone or via email. If you receive a call or email that demands immediate payment, please call our customer service line or visit PGE.com to access your account details,” said Matt Foley, PG&E senior corporate security specialist.

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More information about scams is available at www.pge.com and www.utilitiesunited.org.