Scammers pretending to be from PG&E tried to steal money from a business in Concord this week.
Here’s the story:
Just wanted to give you a heads up in regards to a scam that has been going around and has targeted my family’s business this week.
On December 17. 2013, I received a call from a person named John Lopez stating that he is a representative from Pacific Gas & Electric and that they have sent out notifications that they will shut off our power due to delinquent payments.
After speaking to my father and looking over his account transactions, I noticed that both payments have cleared through with PG&E. My dad also stated that he never received any notices from PG&E besides billing statements in the past few months. After speaking with Mr. Lopez, the rep changed his story from not receiving any payments to “we are having issues with our new billing system, we did receive your fathers check. However, the check has bounced and we need payment right away or we will shut off your electricity.”
Mr. Lopez went on to say that he would like to keep PG&E customers happy and offer that if I paid the minimum balance of $200, he will extend our service to the end of the month and take off 10% on our next bill. Mr. Lopez transferred me to his manager; Dan Martinez after I asked what was my method of payment. After a brief 2 second wait, Mr. Martinez answered and said that I need to pay a minimum of $500 (instead of $200) and that he will send my father’s check back via FedEx. Mr. Martinez directed me to go to a 7-11 in town and get a money order or a green dot debit card to complete the transaction.
After hearing the last line, I told Mr. Martinez to go ahead and shut off our power because I am about to hang up on him. Mr. Martinez continued to make threats over the phone when I hung up. I dialed PG&E at 1-800-743-5000 to confirm that my father’s account was in good standing. The rep states that our account balance is at zero and that both John Lopez and Dan Martinez did not work for PG&E, let alone do they threaten to shut off service over the phone.
I am writing this to you because this has occurred in other cities around California when I conducted a search online and I don’t want any other businesses or residents to fall victim to these scammers.
Thanks for the information.
Claycordians, always be cautious of anybody demanding or asking for money over the phone or on the internet.