On Your Side Alert: Bill Payment Scam

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli says Virginian's need to be on alert. His office is warning about a bill payment scam targeting utility customers. Scammers are randomly calling, claiming to be with utility companies and threatening to turn off your electricity unless you pay your bill right away.

A viewer sent us a note and says it happened to her. Crooks tried to get her to pay over a thousand dollars. They usually request you to load money onto a pre-paid Green Dot Card and make a payment over the phone.

The attorney general's office says it's happen to customers with Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative, Dominion Virginia Power and Rappahannock Electric Cooperative.

Cuccinelli urged all Virginians to protect themselves from these scammers and offers these tips.

•Always attempt to verify the identity of any individual calling you who claims to represent a business. Do not provide money or personal information to an unsolicited caller whose identity you are not able to verify.

•Always take your time making a decision. Legitimate companies won't pressure you to make a snap decision.

•If you receive a call along the lines described, do not make a payment by purchasing a Green Dot card or other means. Please do immediately contact your utility's local office to report the call and to verify your account status.

•If you received a call along the lines described and you made a payment to the scammer, report that information to your local law enforcement. You may also report this information to state or federal law enforcement agencies such as the Federal Trade Commission.

Customers of Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperatives can call toll-free at 1-800-234-7832 and speak with a customer service representative regarding any questions or concerns.

Customers of Dominion Power can call toll-free at 1-866-366-4357 and speak with a customer service representative.

Customers of Rappahannock Electric Cooperative can call toll-free at 1-800-552-3904 to speak with a customer service representative.

Here is a link to the full press release: http://bit.ly/11V7ZMl

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