RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - While the State Corporation Commission took action to block electric, gas, and water companies from disconnecting service for the next 60 days, that action is not stopping scammers from preying on fears.
We have a warning tonight-- to keep you safe. This is a scam we’ve seen making the rounds since last fall and it doesn’t appear to be going away. In fact, viewers are telling us, it’s ramping up.
This is what to watch out for: Your caller ID shows a call from Dominion. The caller demands immediate payment or your power will be shut off.
Dominion warned us about this over the holidays. “They’re preying on that fear to try to get you at your most vulnerable so they can possibly take advantage of that fear that your service might be interrupted,” said Paul Fischer with Dominion Energy.
THIS IS A SCAM. No matter how real that call may seem, it’s a scam. When someone “DEMANDS” immediate payment--- it’s a big red flag.
The other reason you know it’s a scam? Attorney General Mark Herring filed an emergency petition requesting a freeze on all disconnections and suspended late fees during the state of emergency. Herring said it’s important Virginians have access to important utilities, especially when they are being asked to stay home to slow the spread of the virus. “We can’t have utilities disconnecting service. It’s especially important too for hourly wage earners whose incomes are likely to be impacted by business closures and social distancing.”
So, if you get a call or message like this-- it is not real.
Here’s a link to Dominion Energy’s website where it keeps info: http://www.dominionenergy.com/scams
- Scam artists are getting more sophisticated. Don’t fall victim. The calls follow a similar pattern:
- Callers pretend to be Dominion Energy employees, and the caller ID may even display “Dominion Energy”
- The caller insists account is overdue and threatens cut off of power if payment is not received immediately
- The customer told to purchase a prepaid card at a local store and call a number provided by the scammer.
- Please do not be fooled by these scammers!
- Dominion Energy would never:
- Use aggressive threats to disconnect service
- Insist on immediate payment over the phone
- Request a pre-paid card to be used for payment over the phone
- If you receive one of these calls:
- Ask the caller for their name and phone number to help law enforcement track and stop these calls.
- Hang up and call us at 866-DOM-HELP (866-366-4357) to report the call and verify your account information. Do not call any other number!
- Dominion Energy is working with local and federal law enforcement as well as other energy companies and utilities to monitor and stop these scams.
Copyright 2020 WWBT. All rights reserved.