The holidays are the most wonderful time of year, but if you live in Jersey, 'tis the season to watch out for scammers and con artists.

The largest utility in the Garden state, Public Service Electric and Gas, is urging customers to be on the lookout for phony PSE&G workers who may call you on the phone or show up at your front door.

“People should be cautious of callers who demand immediate payment with a prepaid card,” said PSE&G spokesperson Brooke Houston. “The phone scammers really use scare tactics. They threaten immediate service termination if they don’t receive immediate payment with a pre-paid credit card.”

She points out “PSE&G offers a number of payment options and would never require a customer to use one specific type of payment.”

Houston adds another scheme involves thieves showing up on your front steps.

“Door-to-door scammers trick people by showing up at someone’s home dressed like a utility worker and saying that they need to come inside to quote-unquote 'check a problem,'” she said. “And often after they gain access to the home they take money or items.”

So how do you know if a utility worker is real or fake?

“Customers should always ask for ID if a utility worker comes to their door,” Houston said. “And we urge customers to call the number listed on their bill, which is 1-800-436-7734.”

The bottom line, she says, is always use common sense and good judgment.

“Please be cautious when making payments,” Houston said. “Even one customer being cheated is one too many.”

She also recommends contacting local police immediately to report suspicious activity or an attempted scam.

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