Fake PSEG meter scam targets Islip woman

An Islip salon owner says she narrowly avoided victimization when a person claiming to represent PSEG approached her with a scam. Laura Vecchio says the

An Islip salon owner says she narrowly avoided victimization when a person claiming to represent PSEG approached her with a scam.

An Islip salon owner says she narrowly avoided victimization when a person claiming to represent PSEG approached her with a scam. (5/28/15)

ISLIP - An Islip salon owner says she narrowly avoided victimization when a person claiming to represent PSEG approached her with a scam.

Laura Vecchio says the would-be scammer told her that she'd have to pay $500 to install a new meter or risk losing her power.

The man called in the middle of a busy day and claimed to be the general manager of PSEG, Vecchio says. He told her that she could lose electricity in as little as a half hour if she didn't comply.

Vecchio says the man instructed her to purchase a pre-paid Visa card from a 7-Eleven, then call him with the numbers on the card to make the payment. That's when she says she began to suspect a scam.

"He didn't ask for a check," Vecchio says. "He didn't ask to pay by credit card over the phone. He wanted me to go to a 7-Eleven and get a pre-paid card, which honestly I didn't know they existed."

PSEG confirmed that Vecchio was the target of a scam artist. 

The company would never threaten to shut off power on first notice regarding a payment issue, says Jeffrey Weir, a spokesman.

"That would never be the first notification," Weir says. "So that should be a red flag immediately."

Vecchio says her initial shock has now led her to try and help other people before they are targeted by the same scam.

"Anyone that calls you on the phone and tells you to pay anything up front, just hang up the phone, because it's a scam," Vecchio says.

PSEG also says that the company does not charge customers for its new meters. If you receive a suspicious call, PSEG says take down the name and number of the caller and notify the company.

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Top 5 Must See

A house on Joyce Drive in Hauppauge was 1 House destroyed in early morning Hauppauge fire
News 12's Elisa DiStefano and Newsday's Anne Bratskeir 2 Festive Friday: Subscription Boxes
The committee that oversees Nassau's bus system voted 3 Committee votes against NICE Bus service cuts
A public hearing will be held about the 4 Hempstead IDA announces public hearing on mall tax break
In this Feb. 20, 2012 photo, U.S. Sen. 5 Former astronaut, US Sen. John Glenn of Ohio has died at 95

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Features

Need help this holiday season? We've got you Holiday Help Series

Need a gift idea? Perhaps you need a fun idea to do with the kids?

Each week a different shelter visits News 12 Dog Day Fridays Series

Each week a different shelter visits News 12 Long Island with pets up for adoption.

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE