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Scammers Trying To Take Advantage Of COVID-19 Fears

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Sonora, CA — Officials are warning of various scammers trying to take advantage of people who are on edge about COVID-19 concerns.

A notable scam reported in the Mother Lode has been fraudsters claiming to be from PG&E and saying that power will be shut off unless a person provides a debit card to pay a bill. In reality, PG&E has currently implemented a moratorium on service disconnections for non-payment.

Company spokesperson James Murphy says, “It’s alarming that people are trying to capitalize on the pandemic and people’s fears. Unfortunately, that’s the reality with scammers. We’ve seen a steady stream of scam calls recently and are reminding customers that PG&E will never ask for personal information or a credit card number over the phone.”

Other PG&E scam phone call tactics include:

·         Notifying residents that they are eligible for a federal tax refund related to their utility bill

·         Trying to sell services related to solar evaluation

·         Claiming to represent a PG&E initiative to sell a product in order to gain access to their home

Additional scams to watch out for:

The Federal Trade Commission recently issued warnings to several companies claiming to have “Covid-19 cures.” The federal government says there is no cure at this time.

People have reported scammers sending text messages claiming there are free I-phones to eligible people during the pandemic.

Fraudsters are also calling and telling people they can receive a federal stimulus check sooner by providing a social security number or bank account information.

Residents should be on alert.

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