Scammers are targeting Dominion Virginia Power customers. The company says Hispanics are at the greatest risk, but everyone should be on heightened alert.
Dominion Power says the scammers call your phone and suggest you have two hours to pay up - or lose power.
"We don't like it at all," said Daisy Pridgen with Dominion Virginia Power. "And we want to educate our customers on how to avoid being a victim."
NBC12 tracked down the scammers themselves. We got our hands on the most recent number used by the con artists and called the number - and someone picked up offering to transfer us to a supposed agent.
"This will be interesting," noted Pridgen.
"What is the problem?" we asked.
"My system generates a disconnection order," claimed the scammer, while suggesting I owed money without having my name or address. "I have it here for 978 with 33 cents," said the scammer.
"Sir, this is Chris Thomas with NBC12 News," we responded. "What in the world are you doing?"
"What are you talking about?" he asked, after a short pause.
"What I'm talking about is I did not give you my name and you told me that I needed to give you 900 dollars," we said as the scammer hung up abruptly.
The called ended after he asked us to jump in the car and find a store that sells Green Dot pre-paid cards. The scammers ask you to load money on the cards and call back. Dominion says it is hard to track how many people have been scammed, but they say they have received at least 50 calls in the last two months.
"These scammers are Spanish-speaking people, who are targeting the Hispanic community," said Pridgen, who notes there is an easy way to avoid being ripped off.
"Actually, there is just one thing they need to know," said Pridgen. "Dominion never asks for payment over the phone."
If feel you are a victim, call 1-866-DOM-HELP.
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