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Scammers attempting to steal money from the unsuspecting is seemingly a persistent part of modern life. PSEG Long Island joined Utilities United Against Scams (UUAS) to recognize Utility Scam Awareness Day Nov. 20 to spread awareness and education about potential utility scams.

Utility Scam Awareness Day is a part of National Scam Awareness Week, an advocacy campaign focused on spreading awareness on tactics used by scammers and educating the public on what to do when they encounter a potential scammer.

The Better Business Bureau 2017 report found that a scam is reported every 15 minutes. A phone call is the most common way scammers target potential victims and utility scam victims have a median financial loss of $500. 

“The persistence and sophistication of scammers is disconcerting,” said Rick Walden, vice president of PSEG Long Island customer service, in a press statement this week. “More than 5,000 scam calls have been reported to PSEG Long Island this year. We are pleased to participate in the UUAS awareness campaign to educate and help decrease the number of customers that fall victim to the scammers.”

Potential scams to be aware of include threats to disconnect, requests for immediate payment, in-person monetary demands, priority meter installations, and requests for card/personal information over the phone. Recognizing these potential scams and reporting them are the best preventive methods to stop any financial damage. 

If unsure of the legitimacy of a payment requested or an at-home service visit, PSEG Long Islands asks customers to call their customer service center at 1(800)490-0025 or to log into your online PSEG Long Island account. 

For more information about reporting and recognizing potential fraudulent activity visit PSEG Long Island’s website. To learn more about potential scam methods and way to avoid them, UUAS has published a comprehensive list

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Julia-Anna is a Riverhead native and a recent graduate of Stony Brook University, with a degree in Biology and minor in Anthropology. She currently lives in Cutchogue.