Phishing bait: Billing statements from PG&E and Atmos Energy.
Example: [Collected via e-mail, January 2014]
PG&E ENERGY STATEMENT Account No: 441401665-1
Statement Date: 01/07/2014
Due Date: 02/01/2014
Your Account Summary
Amount Due on Previous Statement $344.70
Payment(s) Recieved Since Last Statement 0
Previous Unpaid Balance $344.70
Current Electric Charges $165.20
Current Gas Charges 49.20
To view your most recent bill, please click here. You must log-in to your account or register for an online account to view your statement.
Total Amount Due BY 02/01/2014 $559.70
Origins: In January 2014, Internet users began receiving messages like the one reproduced above that purported to be energy statements (i.e., utility bills) from Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E). Such messages included instructions for the recipients to follow a hyperlink or open an attachment in order to view their statements and/or register for an online account. These messages were intended to lure recipients, concerned about receiving unexpected bills, into attempting to view the referenced
Similar messages have been sent out in the name of Atmos Energy as well, and that company has posted a warning on their web site and advised customers that:
The "phishing" message references a fake account number and contains links to fraudulant websites. The email provides links to mislead you in believing you are going to view your bill, learn more about natural gas or view bill inserts. Actually, the links lead you to a compromised website that hides malware. We are asking anyone who receives that deceptive email to delete it immediately and do not click on any links.
You should always ask to see identification before allowing anyone claiming to be a PG&E representative inside their home. PG&E employees always carry their identification and are always willing to show it to you.
If a person claiming to be a PG&E employee has identification and you still feel uncomfortable, call PG&E's customer service line at 1-800-PGE-5000 to verify an appointment and/or PG&E's presence in the community.
If you have an appointment with PG&E, you will receive an automated call back within 48 hours prior to a scheduled visit, or a personal call from a PG&E service representative prior to a scheduled visit.
If you have concerns about the legitimacy of a call you have received about a past due bill, a service request or a request for personal information, call PG&E immediately at 1-800-743-5000.
PG&E's Credit Department will never ask for personal information, a credit card number or a gift card number over the phone. If you have received such a phone call and provided credit card or checking account information should report it immediately to the credit card company or bank and law enforcement.
Last updated: 9 January 2014