BPD warns of increasing PG&E phone scam

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) Police are warning residents to watch out for callers who claim to be from Pacific Gas and Electric Co. with false accusations that you owe past-due fines.

The scammers then ask for payments over the phone with a pre-paid credit card.

The scam calls are frequent and very aggressive, as the fake PG&E representative demands payments.

BPD said it's important to note that funds will never be collected through pre-paid cards from a legitimate institution.

"Don't immediately respond with what their request is or what their demand is," police Sgt. Joe Grubbs said. "People calling up and asking for any personal identifying information - Social Security numbers, dates of birth, those types of things - where you're not initiating that call and somebody is calling you, don't give out any of that information, ever."

Police said if you get a suspicious call to report it.

Scammers are targeting mostly Hispanic communities.

Most bill collectors, including PG&E, have local offices around Kern County, so, if there is any dispute over past-due funds, it's best to go to see a representative in person.