It’s all a scam and it’s targeted thousands of Bay Area residents — especially during the holidays. A South Bay man lost nearly $2,000 to the imposters back in October. He came to 7 On Your Side to warn everyone — don’t fall for it.
It’s ramped up during the holidays.
Imagine you’re hosting a gathering and a call comes in saying, “It’s PG&E, you didn’t pay your bill, and your power is about to be turned off!”
Victims panic and send their money — only it’s not really going to PG&E
Douglas Gillison of Campbell was just waking on a Saturday morning when the call came in. “This fella had me convinced the trucks were on the way to my house to shut the power off,” Gillison said. “The caller ID looked legitimate… it’s this guy, he sounds very very convincing.”
The man on the phone said his utility bill was past due — PG&E was on the way to shut off power and it was almost too late to stop it.
“I asked the guy if I could pay with a credit card. He said, no there’s not enough time… the only way to do this was with Zelle,” Gillison said.
The imposters told him to use the Zelle quick-pay app so it would get there in time.
“He did a very good job of making it seem like an emergency… so I hurry out of bed and come to the computer, set it all up… and I make this payment,” he said.